Richmond Paradigm “educator” on the run for over a decade sentenced to jail for tax protester scheme
December 2, 2022
Vancouver, British Columbia
Canada Revenue Agency
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) announced that Eric Ho (also known as Eric Siu-Kei Ho and Pat Lee) of Richmond, British Columbia, was sentenced on December 1, 2022, in the Provincial Court of British Columbia (Robson Square), to 30 months in jail and fined a total of $122,367, which represents 100% of the taxes evaded. Mr. Ho pleaded guilty on October 6, 2022, to one count of failing to report taxable income under the Income Tax Act, and one count of counselling others to commit fraud in excess of $5,000 under the Criminal Code.
A CRA investigation revealed that Mr. Ho failed to report his taxable income of $582,641 for the 2004 through 2008 taxation years, and as a result, evaded $122,367 in taxes payable. Mr. Ho was an “educator” with the Paradigm Education Group (Paradigm), a fraudulent scheme that counselled people across Canada to evade taxes. From 2002 to 2010, Mr. Ho taught interested individuals, known as “students”, the Paradigm theory which is based on the faulty premise that if an individual declares themselves as a “natural person” they do not become a taxpayer under the Income Tax Act. Mr. Ho received income in his role as an “educator”, including through Paradigm materials sold, which included DVDs, CDs and books, on how to structure one’s affairs according to Paradigm theory.
Over ten years ago, on March 5, 2012, Mr. Ho failed to attend his first court appearance and a bench warrant was issued on that same day. On August 11, 2022, Mr. Ho surrendered himself to custody and was granted release on bail on September 1, 2022.
All case-specific information above was obtained from the court records.
Canadians should be wary of tax protesters who try to convince the public that they do not have to pay tax on earned income. For those involved in tax protester schemes, the CRA will reassess income tax, charge interest and impose penalties. A court can also impose a fine between 50% and 200% of the tax evaded, and a jail term of up to five years for tax evasion, and up to 14 years for tax fraud. For the five-year period between April 1, 2017, and March 31, 2022, there were 15 convictions related to tax protesters, leading to a total of $1,971,120 in court-imposed fines and 29.75 years of jail time.
In addition to the 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 is dedicated to maintaining the integrity of Canada’s tax system, thereby contributing to the social and economic well-being of Canadians. The CRA continues to aggressively pursue tax evasion, and false claims with all the tools available to it. The CRA works to make sure that individuals and businesses report all income earned and only claim benefits to which they are entitled, so that important benefit programs can be administered to those who need them. Any individual or business who underreports income, or claims losses or benefits to which they are not entitled may have to repay the benefit amounts and may be subject to other possible action.
The CRA has set up a free subscription service to help Canadians stay current on the CRA’s enforcement efforts.
Media Relations – Regional contact
Canada Revenue Agency
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