Two convicted of setting up false companies and fraudulently collecting GST funds

Two local men have been found guilty of fraud in relation to a scheme in which they falsely claimed $23 million in GST funds.

Two local men have been found guilty of fraud in relation to a scheme in which they falsely claimed $23 million in GST funds.

Manjit Khangura of Abbotsford was convicted of three counts of fraud over $5,000, while Sikander Bath of Mission was found guilty of six counts last week in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster.

Each went to trial on 20 counts of fraud and two counts of laundering the proceeds of crime. They are scheduled to be sentenced in February.

A third man, Paramjit Gill, previously pleaded guilty to three fraud charges and testified for the Crown in exchange for a sentence of two years less a day.

The Crown alleged that Khangura and Bath created 20 false companies purporting to export lumber, shake and shingle products between 1994 and 1997, and fraudulently claimed and received GST funds of between $400,000 and almost $2.4 million.

Justice Heather Holmes ruled that 13 of those companies were proved by the Crown to be shams, while there was not enough proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the other seven were also false.

The indictment companies operated under names such as Blue River Shake Ltd., Meadow Forest Products Ltd., and Terminal Shake Ltd.

The Crown had also alleged that funds transferred to a particular bank account were proceeds of the fraud, but Holmes ruled that the money-laundering charged were not proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

The judge’s written decision can be viewed here: http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/jdb-txt/SC/11/17/2011BCSC1726.htm