Brampton man gets 3-year sentence for claiming over $34M in fake charitable donations: CRA

A tax preparer from Brampton was sentenced to three years in prison late last month after being convicted in a tax scam that saw him claim more than $34 million in fake charitable donations, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) said in a release on Friday.

Festus Bayden, who was sentenced on February 27, 2024, was a partner in a tax preparation business known as E & F Tax Associates or as Bankay Financial Services Inc. in Toronto, Ontario, and later in Brampton.

He pleaded guilty to one count of fraud over $5,000. But the CRA notes, it was astronomically over $5,000.

“A CRA investigation revealed that Bayden claimed more than $34 million in false charitable donations on individual income tax returns for the 2004 to 2006 tax years that he prepared for over 30 of his clients,” A CRA release revealed.

The CRA described how the scheme worked, saying “Bayden told his clients that a larger refund or reduced taxes could be obtained if they made a charitable donation for an amount that was far less than what was actually claimed on their income tax returns.

“Bayden then provided his clients with false charitable donation receipts in the names of various charitable organizations to which he was connected. Bayden charged his clients approximately 10 per cent of the face value of the false charitable donation amounts that were claimed.”

Bayden fled the country before he could be prosecuted, but was arrested when he returned to Canada on June 13, 2023.

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today