Cape Breton family accused in $3.6M tax fraud case not calling any defence witnesses

·2 min read
Angela MacDonald of Kentville, N.S. if seen at Nova Scotia Supreme Court holding a binder. She is charged alongside her mother and two sisters in a multi-million dollar fraud case.  (CBC - image credit)
Angela MacDonald of Kentville, N.S. if seen at Nova Scotia Supreme Court holding a binder. She is charged alongside her mother and two sisters in a multi-million dollar fraud case. (CBC - image credit)

Members of a Cape Breton family accused in a multimillion-dollar tax fraud case will not be calling any witnesses in their defence.

Georgette Young, Angela MacDonald, Nadia Saker, along with their mother, Lydia Saker, have pleaded not guilty to 30 charges including fraud.

The women, who were charged after a lengthy investigation by the Canada Revenue Agency, are accused of using fictitious sales and expenses to drum up higher tax refunds to be paid out by the federal government.

They are representing themselves at the judge-only trial, which is running into its sixth week at Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Sydney.

CRA testifies sales, claims 'not based in reality'

On Tuesday, Young asked Crown witness Michael Boudreau, an investigator with the Canada Revenue Agency, if he noticed a period in time when the women's sales and expense claims were at their highest.

"I would say the number escalated from the beginning," Boudreau testified, adding the numbers "were not based in reality."

Young questioned the investigator's collection of four boxes from her home containing 534 pages of documents.

She demonstrated to the court using a package of printer paper that putting 500 sheets into a box would not fill it. Boudreau responded by saying that not all of the boxes seized were actually full.

Young also asked whether PDF documents submitted as part of the Crown's evidence could have been changed or altered.

"I'm not going to say it's not possible," said Boudreau. "I don't know how."

$56M claimed in sales

It's alleged the women claimed $56 million in sales on products such as cookbooks, salad dressings, frozen dinners and fur coats through 10 companies under their control.

The women were paid more than $200,000 in tax refunds, but were denied another $3 million after auditors became suspicious, according to court documents.

Crown prosecutors are expected to present their final submissions in the case Wednesday.

The women will close out the trial with their arguments on Thursday morning.

MORE TOP STORIES

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting