Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Man fined $40,000 for tax evasion
A 32-year-old man who set up an Internet investment scheme pleaded guilty to income tax evasion Monday.
James Cotton, 32, was fined $40,000, sentenced to two years of supervised probation and ordered to get treatment for his gambling addiction.
The court heard that Cotton set up a website called "stormysurf.ca" and told investors they could make 150 per cent returns on their investment within 10 days. He used the proceeds from the website to build a swanky home in Matlock and paid more than $90,000 for two new vehicles, but never declared income from his web business. The Canada Revenue Agency was tipped off to Cotton's Internet money-making venture by the RCMP.
Police had been contacted by investors who complained about the scheme, and a criminal investigation continues. The federal Crown said Monday that Cotton, who waived his right to an attorney, co-operated with investigators from the Canada Revenue Agency.
Cotton told the court that he became a gambling addict at the age of 18 when he moved off the family dairy farm to Winnipeg. He has previous convictions for credit card fraud, which he blamed on his addiction.
The court heard that Cotton no longer lives with his wife and family, and works for friends at their warehouse. Provincial court Judge Heather Pullan gave Cotton three years to pay his $40,000 fine.
I think that this is a pretty appropriate sentence for this man.