Nanaimo couple awarded $1.7 million are back in court
It’s not over yet for a B.C. couple who was awarded $1.7 million in damages after a B.C. Supreme Court judge ruled the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) destroyed their livelihood.
According to the family’s lawyer Steve Kelliher, Tony and Helen Samaroo now face going through it all again in the Tax Court of Canada despite being acquitted of all 21 charges in 2010.
“This is not an organization that you cross lightly,” said Kelliher.
LISTEN: CRA goes after Nanaimo couple
He added the CRA aren’t giving his clients much wiggle-room.
“It’s the state against two people,” said Kelliher. “Ma and Pa against the CRA.”
He said it’s akin to being tried twice for the same alleged crime.
The Samaroos were charged in 2008 with 21 counts of tax evasion for allegedly taking $1.7 million from their Nanaimo restaurant.
After they were acquitted, the family sued the CRA for malicious prosecution.
“This was dismissed on the merits, and on the very same evidentiary basis, as is being proceeded within tax court,” said Kelliher, “Same witnesses, same number, same theory that was completely demolished in the criminal proceedings.”
He said the CRA have endless resources and are focusing them on the couple relentlessly and that he expects the case to take at least another year, “and very large amounts of money for the Samaroos to say the same thing again.”
“Who knows,” he added, “they [the CRA] may appeal that.”
Kelliher was firm in saying his clients weren’t acquitted because of a technicality; the judge ruled the Samaroos were the victims of an “egregious” prosecution by the CRA.
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