(Black Press Media files)

CRA wins appeal against Nanaimo 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

Vancouver Island’s Brind’Amour reflects on year one as NHL coach

Hurricane legend speaks about the season, the Storm Surge and life in Carolina

Campbell River teen on the mend a year later

Jonah Shankar’s treatment for brain tumour involved trips to UK

Skipping school costs a dozen Vancouver Island students chance at a new car

Cowichan Secondary’s Jared Lammi showed up and won $5,000 cheque toward vehicle, but he can’t drive

Province steps up for Island toddler’s treatment

Lake Cowichan’s Charleigh Fales only one in B.C. diagnosed with rare CLN2 Batten disease

Oak Bay mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of coroners inquest into overdose death

Jury to make recommendations based on death of Elliot Eurchuk, 16

Easter Seal’s Drop Zone gives participants chance to rappel down 13-storey Victoria building

Event supports Easter Seal’s services, specifically their camp in Shawnigan

Greater Victoria records drop in building permit values

Values are up for British Columbia and Canada thanks to Vancouver

Victoria Ska and Reggae Festival returns to its roots, 20 years in

Longstanding music event brings together myriad talent in various genres

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Sproat Lake fire held today, but not yet under control

Two-hectare fire is located at Taylor Flats close to Highway 4 west of Alberni

New secondary school planned for north Langford

Province announces $18.6 million in funding for site

Victoria mandates 20 per cent of large new housing developments be affordable

After years of back and forth, inclusionary housing policy will be ratified in two weeks

Man suffers burns, dog dies in fire in Nanaimo

Structure burns down on Clifford Road property in Cedar

Most Read