Toronto man collected EI while earning $180K: police
A Toronto man has been charged with fraud after a police investigation found he was collecting employment insurance benefits while allegedly earning more than $180,000 a year, concealing ownership of a house and living in a condominium building that’s “like a resort” — all after declaring bankruptcy.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police say Guido Paniccia claimed he was receiving employment insurance benefits after declaring bankruptcy. According to records from the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy ( OSB), Paniccia had a bankruptcy hearing on Oct. 26, 2010. A debtor declared Paniccia’s total liabilities at $469,584 and his assets at $8,000.
Paniccia was discharged from bankruptcy in July 2011, RCMP said, but new information received by the OSB annulled the discharge.
In May, the Mounties opened a criminal investigation and allegedly found Paniccia was working and billing for services through a numbered company, 1791814 Ontario Ltd. He was reportedly earning more than $180,000 a year.
R CMP Sgt. Penny Hermann described Paniccia’s company as a “construction- industry type business.” She said there was no record of him being paid for his services.
“It is alleged that Mr. Paniccia was billing for his services under his corporation and that there was no record of the payment income going to him personally,” she said.
RCMP also said Paniccia hid his 50-per-cent ownership of a property, which was sold for $790,000.
“The house he is alleged to have had ownership in was not registered in his name,” Hermann said.
The records also show Paniccia was living in a luxurious One York Quay condominium at Harbourfront.
One York Quay consists of two towers located at 77 Harbour Sq., where Paniccia was living, and 99 Harbour Sq. The buildings contain 812 residential suites, bar lounge, restaurant, health club, board room and library. A private shuttle bus service is provided for tenants.
Matthew Himes, a Toronto realtor specializing in condominiums at One York Quay, described the development as being “like a resort.”
“I don’t know many condominium buildings that have a restaurant and a club right in the building,” he said. “It’s definitely not a slum, that’s for sure.”
Prices for a one- bedroom condo range from $ 355,000 to $ 579,000, while a two- bedroom condo costs $530,000 to $970,000.
Himes said the main two groups of people living in the buildings are the “young business professional” and “affluent retirees.”
Hermann confirmed the condominium was not the property Paniccia was allegedly hiding from debtors.
Paniccia faces a host of charges under the Criminal Code and the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, including concealing property with the intent of defrauding creditors. He will appear in Ontario court Friday.
The investigation was carried out by the RCMP, the Ontario Region Special Investigation Unit and the OSB.
Since January 2014, the RCMP’s Integrated Bankruptcy Enforcement Unit has charged 21 people and four corporations with 121 offences under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and 92 offences under the Criminal Code, with liabilities totalling about $ 104 million, the Toronto Sun reported.
I don’t know many (condo) buildings that have a restaurant and a club