Toronto man sentenced for tax evasion after international investors swindled

January 6, 2022    

Toronto, Ontario

Canada Revenue Agency

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) announced that Perry Fousteris (Fousteris) of Toronto, Ontario, pleaded guilty on December 14, 2021, in the Ontario Court of Justice in Toronto to one count of tax evasion under the Income Tax Act. Fousteris was conditionally sentenced to a period of two years imprisonment less a day, and fined a total of $206,300

A CRA investigation revealed that representatives of Fousteris’ corporations solicited and defrauded international investors out of their money. These investors were misled to believe that monies they supplied were used to purchase shares at a low value. Later, they were misled again to believe their share prices rose considerably and were encouraged to sell. However, when the investors requested payment of the profits from the sale of their shares, all of which were fictitious, they were instructed to pay a multiplying array of taxes and fees beforehand. Despite many attempts, these investors never received or recouped anything they paid out or that was owed to them by Fousteris’ corporations.

Fousteris personally appropriated $1,081,284 from his corporations’ bank accounts, but failed to report any of it in his individual income tax returns filed for the 2012, 2014, and 2015 taxation years, thereby evading $275,066 in federal income tax.

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 administered 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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