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Fijian Fraudster Jailed

Local Sports

Mohammed Fareed RazaMohammed Fareed RazaA Rewa Masters player who committed an $11 million tax fraud has been jailed for 51 months.

 

Defender Fareed Mohammed Raza, 42, a member of the Fijian Soccer League of Greater Vancouver was also found guilty of one count of fraud of over $5000 by B.C, Supreme Court Justice Elliott Myers.

 

The court heard that Fareed and his brother Shaheem Mohammed Raza manufactured a scheme as tax agents, to  issue fraudulent donations to 781 clients in the amount of $11 million in exchange for cash under the pretence it would be passed on to a Bangladesh charity.

 

The clients used the false donation receipts to claim deductions which they were not entitled and between December 2002 and June 2011 the Canada Revenue Agency was owed $4.9 million in taxes.

 

Judge Myers said he had found the fraud was on an “industrial scale”, and spoke of the need to deter and denounce such crimes.

 

The prosecution argued that the culpability of the taxpayers ought to be a mitigating factor on the sentencing for the brothers, but the judge rejected the submission.

 

“I cannot see that this has any effect on the accused’s moral culpability,” said the judge. “It is not a situation of the more the merrier. Put a different way, culpability is not a finite quantity that is to be divided between the number of the accused who participate in the scheme.”

 

The Crown had sought a sentence of five years in prison for the brothers while the defence argued for three to four years of jail. The offence carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.

 

The Crown asked for the brothers to be fined $570,000 each, but the judge declined to impose that penalty.

 

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