Ottawa convenience store owner sentenced for tax evasion

November 30, 2021

Ottawa, Ontario

Canada Revenue Agency

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) announced that on November 23, 2021, Ali Kariminazagheh, also known as Ali Karimi (Karimi) of Ottawa, Ontario, was sentenced to an 18-month conditional sentence and a fine of $83,499. Karimi pleaded guilty in the Superior Court of Justice, in Ottawa, to one count of tax evasion under the Income Tax Act.

A CRA investigation revealed that Karimi, as co-owner of the corporation 6443923 Canada Inc. (operating as Zesty Market and Glebe Smoke Shop), used sales revenue from his chain of Ottawa convenience stores for personal expenditures for the period of 2011 to 2014 inclusive. Karimi failed to report $423,439 in business income on his individual income tax returns for this period, thereby evading $83,499 in income tax. Karimi did not file income tax returns for 2013 and 2014 despite the fact that income ought to have been reported and tax was owing.

An expert from the Forensic Accounting Management Group within Public Services and Procurement Canada conducted a net worth analysis in relation to Karimi's assets, liabilities and expenditures and concluded that the total spending of Karimi and his household exceeded their funds from their known sources of income. The CRA would also like to acknowledge the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) for assistance rendered as part of this investigation.

All case-specific information above was obtained from the court records.

Tax evasion is a crime. Falsifying records and claims, wilfully not reporting income, or inflating expenses can lead to criminal charges, prosecution, jail time, and a criminal record. From April 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021, there were 36 convictions, with Court imposed fines totalling $5,172,844. These taxpayers were sentenced for wilfully evading payment amounts totalling $10,902,950 in federal tax. Out of the 36 convictions, 15 individuals were sent to jail for a total of 26.2 years.

In addition to court imposed fines and/or jail sentences, convicted taxpayers have to pay the full amount of tax owing, plus related interest and any penalties assessed by the CRA.

The CRA remains dedicated to maintaining the integrity of Canada's tax system, as well as the social and economic well-being of Canadians during these unprecedented times. The CRA continues to aggressively pursue tax evasion and false claims with all tools available to them.

The CRA is continuously working towards making sure that individuals and businesses report income earned and eligible losses, and claim benefits to which they are entitled, so that important benefit programs can be available to those who need them. As a result of COVID-19, we are seeing the increased importance of these benefits, and are working to make sure that they continue to be available to Canadians. Any individual or business who underreports income, or claims losses or benefits to which they are not entitled, including ineligible claims for COVID-19 benefits, may have to repay the benefit amounts and may be subject to other possible action.

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Paul N. Murphy
Senior Communications Advisor

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