Cabot Ford Lincoln dealership accused of tax evasion

Cabot Ford Lincoln dealership accused of tax evasion

A St. John's car dealership and a director of the company are being accused of tax evasion and making false and deceptive statements on tax returns.

The Canada Revenue Agency has filed charges under the Income Tax Act and Excise Tax Act against Cabot Ford Lincoln Sales Limited and Frank Clarke.

The charges relate to tax years from 2009 to 2011.

In court documents, CRA alleges that the company overstated expenses by more than $240,000 to evade taxes exceeding $44,000 over that time frame.

Cabot Ford Lincoln is also accused of underpaying roughly $13,650 in GST through "false or deceptive statements" on tax returns.

Clarke, 64, of Paradise, is also accused of personally evading more than $76,000 in taxes by failing to declare more than $270,000 in income over that same three-year period.

"This situation is of course very concerning to me, as an individual and as a business owner," Clarke said in an email to CBC News.

"As with anyone in a matter not yet before the courts, we are still trying to understand everything ourselves, especially since the Canada Revenue Agency has not yet informed us of all details of the situation," he wrote.

"Over the past 25 years of building a company that employs over 70 people, we have held ourselves and our employees to high standards of ethics. I would never take lightly any statement that I, or this company, may have ever failed to live up to those standards," Clarke went on to say.

"I have been in touch with the CRA during their investigation and will continue to co-operate with them as this all moves forward."

The charges were filed last week, and the matter is scheduled to be back at provincial court in St. John's March 26.