Revenue Canada auditors tied to restaurants scam
Several Canada Revenue Agency auditors allegedly sought cash payoffs from Montreal restaurant owners in order to avoid an audit, according to court documents obtained by the Radio-Canada program Enquête.
RCMP are investigating the allegations, which involve four restaurants, including a small family-run Italian eatery in the city’s west end.
The owners of that restaurant told police that they received a visit from an auditor who commented on how busy their business was. Shortly after that, the owners said they received a letter from the Canada Revenue Agency noting their restaurant was about to be audited. They were told to speak with a specific auditor.
The auditor told them they were in serious trouble. He met with the couple in a park near their restaurant and told them they were on the hook for $250,000. He then offered to make the problem go away if they paid him $50,000 in cash.
The restaurant owners asked their accountant for advice and it was soon discovered that the original letter from the agency about the audit was a fake, according to police.
Three other restaurants reported similar experiences. In one case, the son of an owner was told it would take $90,000 to quash an investigation into $700,000 in undeclared income.
Police said all of the restaurant owners have been co-operative. To date, no charges have been laid.
The investigation is not believed to be connected to previous investigations involving Canada Revenue Agency employees in Montreal.
With files from Loreen Pindera