Can Ontario Accountants and Tax-Preparers be Charged and Convicted of Tax Evasion?

OTTAWA CRIMINAL DEFENCE LAWYER – Often when an individual is charged with income tax evasion, he or she wasn’t the only one taking care of the tax records. The same goes for business – in many cases, an accountant is involved in preparing tax returns and other tax documents.

As a criminal defence lawyer, a question I sometimes hear is: can an Ontario accountant be charged or eventually convicted for involvement in a client’s tax evasion?

The recent case of R. v. Leo-Mensah served as a poignant reminder that any accountant or financial professional who knowingly assists his or her clients in committing tax evasion can be charged and prosecuted for doing so.

In that case, an Ontario accountant ended up going to court and being convicted. Between 2003 and 2005, he had prepared tax returns for 300 different clients – many of which allegedly contained false claims for charity donations.

The accountant ended up being charged with one charge of fraud and two charges of income tax evasion – the accountant had failed to report income he allegedly received from completing the fraudulent returns. He was convicted of the offences – leading to a large fine and a prison sentence.

So if you are an accountant in Ontario, and one or more of your clients are being investigated or prosecuted for tax evasion, you are not immune from tax evasion charges.

If you are an accountant or professional who is being investigated or charged in connection with income tax evasion, it’s important to speak with a top criminal defence lawyer who can help you understand your rights and advise you on how to proceed. For more information, contact the Ottawa criminal defence lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by email [email protected] or by phone at (613) 233-4529.

Fraud Charges in Ontario: Why You Need a Top Defence Lawyer

OTTAWA CRIMINAL DEFENCE LAWYER – A major fraud case is making headlines in southern Ontario, as a young Burlington woman faces eight counts of fraud charges for a cancer fundraising scam.

Fundraising and charity fraud is just one of the many types of fraud that I deal with as a white-collar crime lawyer in Ottawa. Fraud charges – whether it’s credit card fraud, tax fraud, mortgage fraud, or any other type – could result in a conviction under the Criminal Code of Canada and up to 14 years in prison.

If you are charged with fraud, it’s important to quickly find an experienced lawyer who understands fraud cases and can help you fight the charges against you. To help you in your search, I’ve put together a new article: How and Why Should I Hire a Lawyer to Fight Ontario Fraud Charges?

The article contains a refresher on fraud – the definition of the term, and which types of fraud you could be charged with. It also contains information on points to consider when searching for the right lawyer to help you fight your fraud charges.

Have you been charged with fraud or any other white-collar crime offence in Ontario? An experienced criminal defence lawyer can help you understand your rights, and proceed with fighting the charges against you. For more information, contact the Ottawa lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by email [email protected] or by phone at (613) 233-4529.

How and Why Should I Hire a Lawyer to Fight Ontario Fraud Charges?

OTTAWA CRIMINAL DEFENCE LAWYER – Some of the individuals who come into my office seeking legal counsel are facing charges for fraud, which is a serious Ontario criminal offence. This offence can be defined as gaining money unlawfully through deception.

Possible fraud convictions in Ontario are split into two categories, depending on how much money was involved in the alleged fraud incidence.

  • If you are convicted of fraud over $5000, an Indictable Criminal Offence as outlined by the Criminal Code of Canada, you could be sentenced to up to 14 years in prison.
  • Fraud under $5000 can be an Indictable Offence under the Code – punishable by a prison sentence of up to two years – or it can be a summary offence, resulting in fines.

Serving time in prison for a fraud conviction would have significant impact on your life and the lives of your family members. This kind of conviction is something you want to avoid at all costs, by fighting the charges against you.

Do I need a criminal defence lawyer to help me fight these charges?

The answer is yes.   Crown prosecutors sometimes have difficulty proving guilt in these cases, so there is often a chance of successfully having your charges dismissed. A number of defences – for example, proving a lack of intent to defraud, or challenging a search warrant – can be employed in order to fight the fraud charges against you.

The reason most people hire a lawyer to help fight fraud charges – and so should you – is that an average person does not have the specialized training and experience to make these complex legal arguments.

How do I go about finding the right criminal defence lawyer for my Ontario fraud case?

Choosing the right criminal defence lawyer to fight your white-collar crime charges should involve a lot of research. Investigate lawyers’ web sites thoroughly to get an idea of how knowledgeable they are on the subject. Here are three things to keep in mind:

  • Does the lawyer have testimonials and case results verifying past wins in fraud cases?
  • Is the lawyer willing to share information on the subject (e.g. books, brochures, consultations)?
  • Is the lawyer willing to represent me in any court across Ontario?

With the right lawyer, you could get your Ontario fraud charges dismissed – and avoid having to pay fines or spend time in prison.

Have you been charged with fraud in Ontario? A top criminal defence lawyer can give you the advice you need to fight your charges. For more information, contact the Ottawa lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by email [email protected] or by phone at (613) 233-4529.