Jail for tax consultants who defrauded taxpayers of millions

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Two tax consultant brothers will spend four years in jail for running a fraud scheme which defrauded Canadian taxpayers of millions by issuing fake receipts from a charity started to build a hospital in Bangladesh.

Fareed Mohammed Raza, 42, and Saheem Mohammed Raza, 35, have been sentenced to 51 months each after being found guilty of using a real charity as a vehicle to help their clients avoid paying nearly $5 million in taxes.

In all the brothers issued tax receipts totaling $11.4 million over a number of years.

Mashud Miah told a Tax Court hearing he started the Mehfuz Trust to honour his son, who was born prematurely in a Vancouver hospital; inspired by the wonder of Western medicine, Miah claimed he wanted to raise money to operate a medical clinic for poor and handicapped children in Bangladesh.

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Fareed Raza helped him start the charity.

The RCMP sent an undercover officer to the accounting office, posing as a single mother looking to save some money on her tax return. She claimed a customer at the casino where she worked had told her about the charity.
The woman ultimately made a $500 cash donation — for which she received a refund of $3,750.

At trial, a number of the Razas’ clients testified about the cash donations they handed the brothers and the amazing returns they received come tax time.

A BCIT instructor recalled giving $1,500 in a year. His tax returns showed charitable claims of $18,185.

An ICBC claims assistant made cash donations of $500 each year and got credited for amounts ranging up to $6,350.

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And a woman who worked in loans and mortgage at RBC said she gave Fareed Raza $800 in cash and claimed a donation of $7,300 on her tax return.

To that end, Justice Myers said he also found Mashud Miah’s evidence to be “unsatisfactory and not credible.”

The Mehfuz Trust was dissolved in 2006 and the hospital was never completed. Miah claimed he wired the money he did collect to Bangladesh, but records showed him and his family taking $10,000 in cash on several occasions.
And he claimed not to understand English well, but Myers noted that he had taken two computer courses in English and answered several questions on the stand before they were translated.

By contrast, the Mehfuz Trust’s tax returns for the same time showed donation revenue of $815,000. – CINEWS

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