Two Canadians must each repay more than $100,000 in benefits for 22 fake children
OTTAWA – If you hope to claim the Canada Child Benefit (CCB), you’d better actually have children and not fraudulently make them up unless you want to spend time behind bars, warns the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
Case in point: two Canadians will be spending up to the next two years in jail or home confinement and will have to repay over $100,000 each for fraudulently claiming child benefits for a combined 22 fake children for years before being caught by the tax agency.
In September, Cornwall, Ont., resident Patrick Paquette was sentenced to 22 months of house arrest followed by a curfew after pleading guilty to one count of fraud related to significant CCB fraud.
The CCB is a tax-free monthly payment that pays up to $569.41 per month to assist parents with the cost of raising a child.
The scheme nearly came to an end in Nov. 2016 when his bank suddenly closed his account in which the funds were being sent via direct deposit.
Without telling his partner, Paquette opened a new bank account in her name and then applied for CCB on behalf of his partner (who still was not aware) for two additional fake children for five months in 2017, according to information from court records. That allowed him to successfully withdraw an additional $8,223 in illegally acquired funds.
In September, Paquette was ordered to repay the $130,757 in ineligible CCB. He will also have to serve 11 months in home confinement followed by 11 months of curfew. Afterwards, he’s subject to another three years of probation.
Information released by the tax agency does not reveal how Paquette managed to claim CCB for no less than 10 fictitious children for over three years before getting caught.