CRA gets fined $200,000 for inappropriate demand for information

As time goes on, more and more judges are slamming CRA for bad behaviour. Looks good to me.

I don’t think much of gangs, but I suppose you could call CRA a gang?

For more information on CRA, click here.

Dan White

Taxman ordered to pay UN gang $200,000

Canada Revenue Agency fined for probing gang members’ earnings

Kim Bolan, Vancouver Sun: Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Canada Revenue Agency has been ordered to pay more than $200,000 to the United Nations gang after a judge scolded the taxman for demanding information about the earnings of some UN members and associates.

VANCOUVER — The Canada Revenue Agency has been ordered to pay more than $200,000 to the United Nations gang after a judge scolded the taxman for demanding information about the earnings of some UN members and associates.

Federal Court Judge Michael Phelan awarded $200,000 for legal fees to a group of 15 people linked to the notorious B.C. gang and an additional $17,486.92 for other court costs.

The motion seeking the cash was heard by Phelan in April, but the ruling was posted just this week on the Federal Court’s website.

Phelan said the size of the award corresponded to the misconduct of CRA officials who worked closely with police in sending out letters called RFIS or “requirements for information” demanding details of assets and incomes of those targeted.

“There was an air of disregard for the citizen’s legal rights, including confidentiality obligations imposed on CRA officials, which elevate the unlawful conduct to one deserving of some re-probation,” Phelan said in his latest ruling.

The UN associates asked for more than $250,000 in costs, while the CRA had offered to settle for about $102,000.

Last December, Phelan sided with the UN in its legal challenge of the letters and general conduct of CRA investigators who teamed up with Gang Task Force members to deliver the letters to gang members’ homes.

“Police presence was clear and visible and highly obtrusive. The service of the documents was generally carried out late at night, with multiple police cruisers present, lights on and with all the paraphernalia of a police raid,” Phelan said, adding that the actions were “obtrusive, invasive and unjustified.”

Phelan also said that the CRA treated the UN members differently than other citizens and outside the mandate of the agency.

“It is a central tenet of the rule of law that everyone is required to obey the law and all are entitled to the protections of the law, even those litigants who may be deserving of little sympathy. In that latter category would be members of gangs reputed to be engaged in some of the most serious of illegal misconduct in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia,” he said.

UN founder Clay Roueche, who was not targeted in the CRA probe, is appealing a 30-year U.S. sentence handed to him for being the head of a major cross-border drug-smuggling ring. A Seattle judge found the gang moved about $500,000 a week from Seattle to Los Angeles from drug sales.

UN-linked Daryl Johnson is one of the challengers who’ll share the court award. He is also awaiting trial in B.C. Supreme Court with two others on charges of conspiracy to import cocaine. Several other UN gang members and associates are also awaiting trial.

Phelan noted that two of the challengers — Duane (D. W.) Meyer and Elliott (Taco) Castaneda — were executed in gangland hits after the CRA delivered the RFIs.

“It is not necessary or even within the scope of this inquiry to determine whether the applicants are members of the UN Gang,” Phelan said. “However, the history of this litigation, involving change of the lead litigant due to ‘hits’ on other members and other steps taken by the applicants to protect personal information usually available in litigation due to the fear of harm from unknown persons, is consistent with membership in illegal gangs.”

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