Sur­rey lawyer gets house ar­rest for tax eva­sion

Failed to re­port $1.28M of tax­able in­come re­lated to le­gal ser­vices for real es­tate trans­ac­tions

StarMetro Vancouver - - VANCOUVER - JEN ST. DE­NIS thes­­cou­ver



A Sur­rey lawyer has been sen­tenced to eight months of house ar­rest for tax eva­sion for not re­port­ing $1.28 mil­lion of tax­able in­come re­lated to real es­tate trans­ac­tions, ac­cord­ing to the Canada Rev­enue Agency.

Baldev Singh Ghag was sen­tenced on Jan. 10 after plead­ing guilty to one count of tax eva­sion. The CRA says he failed to re­port money he earned pro­vid­ing le­gal ser­vices for real es­tate trans­ac­tions be­tween 2005 and 2008. He must also pay a fine of $418,865.

In a news re­lease, the agency said Ghag was the prin­ci­pal of two cor­po­ra­tions, Baldev S. Ghag Law Corp. and Ferengi Trad­ing Corp. He pro­vided real es­tate le­gal ser­vices through his law cor­po­ra­tion and did real es­tate lend­ing through Ferengi Trad­ing.

Ghag main­tained and con­trolled the fi­nances for both cor­po­ra­tions, but the CRA says an in­ves­ti­ga­tion found he “in­ter­min­gled the bank­ing be­tween his cor­po­rate and per­sonal ac­counts,” re­sult­ing in large amounts of money end­ing up in his per­sonal ac­counts that he did not re­port as tax­able in­come.

Reached by tele­phone at his law of­fice, Ghag said he made an er­ror in fil­ing his taxes and is now try­ing to make things right. He said he co-op­er­ated fully with in­ves­ti­ga­tors and pleaded guilty “as early as I could.”

In May 2018, CRA re­ported it had found nearly $600 mil­lion in un­paid taxes in the real es­tate sec­tor in British Columbia and On­tario over the past three years.

The fed­eral agency be­gan ex­am­in­ing real es­tate trans­ac­tions more closely start­ing in 2015 and says there con­tinue to be “com­pli­ance risks” in real es­tate trans­ac­tions in the high-priced Van­cou­ver and Toronto mar­kets.

B.C. civil court doc­u­ments for a sep­a­rate and un­re­lated case show that Ghag is in the busi­ness of pri­vate mort­gage lend­ing.

In court doc­u­ments, two peo­ple claim they signed loan doc­u­ments drawn up by Ghag in 2012 but didn’t un­der­stand the loan was a mort­gage against their home and that they were the prin­ci­pal bor­row­ers.

In a re­sponse, Ghag said he fully ex­plained the terms and con­di­tions of the mort­gage to the bor­row­ers, who in­di­cated they un­der­stood.

None of the al­le­ga­tions has been proven in court, and a trial is set for June. The Canada Rev­enue Agency says there are “com­pli­ance risks” in the high-priced Van­cou­ver and Toronto real es­tate mar­kets.


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