(Black Press Media files)

CRA wins appeal against B.C. couple who alleged ‘malicious’ tax evasion probe

A lower court had handed down a $1.7M award to the couple earlier

The British Columbia Court of Appeal has set aside a $1.7-million damage award to a Vancouver Island couple who a lower court had said were ruined through the “malicious” actions of the Canada Revenue Agency.

Tony and Helen Samaroo were operating a restaurant, night club and motel in Nanaimo in 2008 when they were charged with 21 counts of tax evasion for allegedly skimming $1.7 million from their businesses.

They were acquitted of all charges in provincial court in 2010 in what the judge hearing the case agreed amounted to the Crown using “voodoo accounting” to support its case, and the couple then sued for malicious prosecution.

A B.C. Supreme Court judge ruled last year that the Samaroos were the victims of an “egregious” prosecution based on an unfounded theory and suspicion about the alleged tax evasion.

READ MORE: Restaurant owners awarded $1.7M in lawsuit against Canada Revenue Agency

But in a decision released Tuesday on behalf of the three-judge panel, Justice David Harris says the trial judge was wrong to base his analysis on the idea that tax evasion can’t be proven without also proving exactly how it was done.

As a result, Harris says the judge dismissed some relevant evidence as “mere hypothesis,” instead of recognizing there was a reasonable and probable cause to launch a case.

Because the analysis was faulty, Harris says it’s unnecessary to look at whether the trial judge erred in his conclusion that the Crown was motivated by malice or the investigator for the Canada Revenue Agency acted for an “improper purpose.”

“When the correct legal test is applied properly to the elements of the offence, with a correct onus of proof in a claim of malicious prosecution, and viewing the issue objectively, the Samaroos cannot succeed in showing that there was an absence of reasonable and probable cause to initiate and continue the prosecution,” the decision says.

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Midway will open early at the 2019 Saanich Fair

This year the fair will pilot a “sneak peek” and the main stage will feature April Wine

Cross-examination begins for Oak Bay dad accused of killing daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Camosun mechanical engineering project solve real-world problems

Showcase included projects that confound conventional wisdom, garner industry interest

Arenas, fitness centre ready for action after significant flood at Saanich recreation centre

Library branch, archives remain closed after Thursday night flood

Speculation tax forces sale of Oak Bay’s ‘Tulip House’

Bob and Jan Fleming selling their retirement home famous for its thousands of tulips

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

POLL: Should there be a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers?

We’ve all heard them, and most likely cursed them under our breath.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Aug. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Wife charged in husband’s death in Sechelt

Karin Fischer has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of her husband, Max

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Most Read