A West Vancouver man convicted last year of tax evasion has been sentenced to 29 months behind bars.
Michael Curt Helmut Scholz was also fined $645,000 on Wednesday, according to a Friday (February 26) statement from the Canada Revenue Agency.
The sentence comes after a CRA investigation uncovered Scholz had been submitting forged documents to obtain benefits related to the construction of a home in West Vancouver.
He was convicted in June 2020 of three counts of committing tax-related offences and two counts of uttering forged documents under the Criminal Code.
The CRA’s statement described Scholz forging a bare trust agreement to conceal the property’s true ownership and support his claim of ineligible input tax credits related to the costs for the residence’s construction and design.
He also forged a lease agreement to decrease the tax agency’s assessed value of the property to reduce taxes owed.
Under tax laws, “if you are building your own home to live in, you cannot claim any GST rebates; if you are a builder who has title to or a beneficial interest in the house and are building it to sell, then you can claim GST rebates,” wrote provincial court Judge Paul Meyers in his written decision.
Scholz claimed almost $645,000 in tax rebates between December 31, 2009 and April 1, 2013.
During the trial, Scholz held out that he was the beneficial owner of the property and that he intended to sell it.
But in his decision handed down June 18, 2020, the judge ruled that wasn’t true.
Meyers wrote he found Scholz’s testimony “concocted, untruthful, farfetched and defying logic.”
The judge ruled Scholz made false statements and supplied fake documents to the CRA to avoid paying GST on the house construction.
—With files from Jane Seyd, North Shore News