A Lake Cowichan businessman has been handed a nine-month conditional sentence and $50,496.50 in fines after pleading guilty to income tax evasion and excise tax evasion in a Canada Revenue Agency investigation.
David Gonyea was sentenced on Nov. 15, a statement from the CRA said. Gonyea pled guilty on July 31 to three counts of tax evasion under the Income Tax Act and one count of tax evasion on the Excise Tax Act.
His conditional sentence includes 30 hours of community service.
According to the CRA, Gonyea operated and maintained the books and records of Coast Hydrovac, a company that provided inspection, testing and hydro-excavation services for municipal governments, developers and contractors.
“A CRA investigation determined that Mr. Gonyea cashed over 100 cheques payable to Coast Hydrovac at a payday loan company, instead of depositing the cheques into the business’s bank accounts,” the CRA statement said. “In total, he failed to report taxable business income of $159,683.77 for the 2010, 2011, and 2012 tax years. Mr. Gonyea also failed to report and remit a total of $59,438.41 in goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax [GST/HST] collected from business operations during that period.”
The CRA said from April 1, 2013, to March 31, 2018, 307 people have been convicted of tax evasion. The cases involved $134 million in federal tax evasion, court sentences totalling approximately $37 million in court fines and 2,964 months in jail.
“Wilfully failing to follow tax laws could result in serious consequences, including reassessments, the imposition of civil penalties and criminal tax investigations and prosecutions resulting in the imposition of court fines and jail time. Under the income tax and excise tax laws, persons convicted of tax evasion will face fines ranging from 50 per cent to 200 per cent of the evaded taxes and up to five years imprisonment. If convicted of fraud under Section 380 of the Criminal Code, an individual can face up to 14 years in jail,” the CRA said in a statement.