The Case: The Queen v. Marek B. , Mississauga, Ontario
The Facts: Our client was a real estate agent who was charged by the police with several counts of cocaine trafficking to an undercover police officer, as part of a long-term organized crime probe. As often happens in these cases, the police turned over the case details to the Canada Revenue Agency, with a suggestion that they investigate our client for any undeclared income from his alleged sideline as a drug dealer. The government placed liens on Marek’s house and car, and froze his investment and bank accounts. The CRA produced a cashflow analysis, known as a Net Worth Assessment, implying that Marek had expenses and a lifestyle that exceeded his declared income. He was charged with tax evasion of more than $350,000
The Defence Strategy: We carefully examined both the theory and the application of the net worth assessment to income. Such analyses are notoriously prone to improper assumptions and speculation. We challenged dozens of questionable conclusions by the CRA investigators, and cross-examined both their investigators and their expert witness at length. Then, to counter their evidence, we called an expert for the defence, a former CRA section head who had literally written the book on net worth analysis while he was at the Agency, and had found it lacking in many respects.
The Result: An expert opinion, such as a Net Worth Analysis, is only as good as the facts underpinning its conclusions. Having meticulously and thoroughly challenged the Crown’ s case, and countered it with our own, better-qualified expert, the trial judge decided in favour of our client and found him Not Guilty.Back
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