Indo-Canadian $10-Million GST Fraudsters Get Jail Sentences

0
368

Sikander Singh Bath And Manjit Singh Khangura Stole Money Purely Out Of Greed, Judge Says!

Sikander Singh Bath, 41, and Manjit Singh Khangura, 57, were found guilty in December of six counts and three counts of fraud over $5,000, respectively. They each faced 20 fraud charges and two charges of money laundering. Bath received 4 1/2 years in prison, while Khangura received three years.

ABBOTSFORD – Two Indo-Canadian men from the Fraser Valley who scammed the federal government out of $10 million in GST refunds were given prison sentences in New West court on Monday.

Sikander Singh Bath, 41, and Manjit Singh Khangura, 57, were found guilty in December of six counts and three counts of fraud over $5,000, respectively. They each faced 20 fraud charges and two charges of money laundering.

They were sentenced Tuesday in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster. Bath received 4 1/2 years in prison, while Khangura received three years. The charges relate to incidents that took place from 1994 to 1997, reported the Province newspaper.

The prosecution alleged that Bath, Khangura and others created or acquired 20 companies during that time and fraudulently claimed and received more than $23 million in refunds for GST input credits.

The companies — which claimed to have made large exports of lumber, shake and shingle products — were shams and never did any real business, prosecutors said.

The amounts of the alleged frauds ranged from $400,000 to $2.3 million each.

However, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Heather Holmes found that only 13 companies were proven to be shams.

Bath played “at least a meaningful role” in six of the fake companies and was a party to the frauds, either by committing them or aiding in their commission, the judge ruled. Those companies received almost $8 million.

Khangura was party to frauds involving three companies that received about $3 million. One company that received just over $1 million was common to both accused.

A long time has passed since the offences, during which Bath and Khangura have dedicated themselves to restoring their mental, physical and financial health and giving valuable service to the community, Holmes said.

The men have come to understand the effects of their crimes and have shown remorse, she added.

However, Holmes said the crimes call for strong messages of denunciation and deterrence.

Bath and Khangura undermined the honour system. The frauds required premeditation and planning, took place over a long period of time and involved a large number of transactions.

The Canada Revenue Agency has tried to track the stolen money but has not been successful, Holmes said.

“Mr. Bath and Mr. Khangura committed the offences not from necessity but, it must be inferred, out of greed,” Holmes said.

A co-accused, 55-year-old Paramjit Gill, pleaded guilty to three charges of fraud in 2009 and made a plea agreement with prosecutors that included testifying against Bath and Khangura.

He was involved in three sham companies from 1995 to 1997 that brought in almost $3 million in GST refunds.

Gill was sentenced in February to two years less a day in jail.

When individuals are convicted of income tax evasion, they must still repay the full amount of taxes owing, plus interest and any civil penalties that may be assessed by the CRA. In addition, the court may fine them up to 200% of the taxes evaded and impose a jail term of up to five years.

Taxpayers who have not filed returns for previous years, or who have not reported all of their income, can still voluntarily correct their tax affairs. They may not be penalized or prosecuted if they make a valid disclosure before they become aware of any compliance action being initiated by the CRA against them. These taxpayers may only have to pay the taxes owing, plus interest.