CRA slammed for ‘reprehensible and malicious’ prosecution of B.C. couple
Source: CBC News
Author: Jason Proctor
A B.C. Supreme Court judge has slammed the Canada Revenue Agency for suppressing and misstating evidence in its zeal to prosecute a Vancouver Island couple for tax evasion.
In a blistering 70-page ruling, Justice Robert Punnett ordered the CRA to pay Tony and Helen Samaroo nearly $1.7 million in damages for malicious prosecution of a deeply flawed case that ruined their reputations.
“A government agency maliciously used the criminal justice system to pursue the plaintiffs, and its wrongful conduct continued into the criminal trial itself. The CRA was seeking substantial terms of imprisonment and significant penalties. The manner in which the prosecution was initiated and carried out was egregious. It must be denounced,” Punnett wrote.
“It affected the reputations of the plaintiffs, their professional lives and their family lives. It involved the concealment of exculpatory evidence. It involved the power imbalance of the state over the individual. It violated fundamental rights and was highly reprehensible.”
The damages include nearly $348,000 for the legal fees the Samaroos spent to defend themselves in the 2011 provincial trial which ended in their acquittal.
They also include $300,000 for aggravated damages to each of them and $750,000 in punitive damages against the CRA.