Crown seeks 4.5 years jail for B.C. woman convicted of counselling tax evasion

Debbie Anderson the latest from group to face jail for teaching debunked ‘natural person’ theory

Crown counsel is asking the BC Supreme Court to sentence a proponent of a tax evasion scheme to four and a half years in jail.

And while Debbie Arlene Anderson had as many as 100 students, and was described as “significant and essential” to the Chilliwack-based Paradigm Education Group, she was an acolyte of the group’s founder Russell Porisky who received just a four-year sentence.

Crown also asked Justice Neill Brown on Jan. 22 to hand Anderson a fine of just over $35,000. Of that, $22,689.90 is 100 per cent of the income tax she avoided over the years 2005, 2006 and 2007. The further $12,736.82 is for non-remitted GST.

Anderson’s sentencing hearing continued on Jan. 22, but the court heard that she was not ready to respond that day to Crown submissions. Justice Brown agreed to put her over to another day to respond.

It was on Nov. 3, 2017 that Brown convicted Anderson of all four charges she faced: tax evasion and making false statements under the Income Tax Act (ITA), failure to make GST payments under the Excise Tax Act (ETA), and counselling others to commit fraud under the criminal code.

Crown asked for a one-year sentence and a fine for the making false statements under the income tax act; one year to run concurrent for failure to make GST payments; and 3.5 years to run consecutive for the more serious counselling others to commit fraud under the criminal code.

Anderson was a senior “educator” in Paradigm Education Group, which taught paying students that income tax is a violation of human rights, and is optional for individuals who declare themselves “natural persons.”

• READ MORE: Chilliwack woman convicted of tax evasion and counselling others

In finding her guilty in November, Brown said Anderson’s argument to defend her teachings “has no basis in law, is meritless, and must be dismissed.”

The “natural person” theory posits that income tax only applies to the artificial or legal person created in law. If one declares oneself to be a natural person, and enters into specially designed contracts to be paid for services, so goes the argument, income tax can be ignored.

In YouTube videos posted in 2008, and that are still online, Porisky says the reality is that “income tax is nothing more than an internal federal excise tax which is only mandatory for those who choose to work as a legal representative, under an implied contract of service, for the benefit of a federally created legal (artificial) person known as a ‘taxpayer.’”

The problem routinely outlined by the courts is that the teachings are, simply, wrong.

During the court proceedings last year and again at the sentencing hearing Jan. 22, Anderson has made a number of unusual statements and confusing proclamations. Asked if she was going to again continue without a lawyer, Anderson responded: “No, I’m not, she said. “I’m not here on my voluntary consent either.”

Twice in the first five minutes of the hearing, Anderson stood to say something similar about not being present on her own consent. Justice Brown responded that in 10 years sitting on the bench he had never encountered an accused who so often disobeyed order in the court by interrupting and talking over him.

“This is a courtroom,” he told her. “You have to respect the decorum.”

She also had something to say about her being referred to by Crown and the judge as “Ms. Anderson.”

“I do not consent to being referred to as Ms. Anderson. That is not my name.”

Crown told the court that Anderson was essential to the Paradigm teachings. During the trial, the court saw a video where she taught not just paying students but other educators how to maximize their businesses.

“She made her living promoting the scheme.”

Anderson’s mentor Porisky was sentenced on July 29, 2016 to four years in jail and fined $260,000. His partner Elaine Gould was sentenced to one day in jail and was fined $38,242. The duo’s fraudulent counselling to more than 800 students resulted in an estimated $11 million in income tax evasion.

Anderson had as many as 100 students, the court heard, who typically paid seven per cent of money earned as a fee for the educational materials that outlined how to arrange financial affairs so as to not pay taxes. She, herself, earned at least $165,000 over 2005, 2006 and 2007, and declared zero income for the first two years and did not file an income tax return for 2007.

Another Porisky follower, Michael Spencer Millar, who also represented himself, was sentenced Feb. 28 to two-and-a-half years in jail for following the debunked theory.

Anderson’s sentencing hearing is scheduled to continue March 5.

READ MORE: Follower of Chilliwack-based tax protest scheme off to jail


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Down and dirty for South Okanagan burrowing owls

Volunteers needed for a series of work camps to restory burrowing owl dens

Okanagan’s smoke filled skies toxic to pets

Pet owners should take extra precautions with pets until smoke dissipates

Powwow honours children

Between the Lakes powwow devotes Sunday to children

Air support grounded as fires fill the skies with smoke

Update Aug. 19 1:25 p.m. A majority of air support is still… Continue reading

Auntie Says: Mind your own buisness

Faye Arcand is a freelance writer living in the South Okanagan

Smoke cancels Super League Penticton, organizers give pros a gift

Super League Penticton organizers decide to send all pro competitors to championship

Canadians fear for relatives trapped amid flooding in Indian state of Kerala

More than 800,000people have been displaced by floods and landslides

IndyCar driver Wickens flown to hospital after scary crash

IndyCar said Wickens was awake and alert as he was taken to a hospital

Ex-BCTF president ‘undeterred’ after early release from pipeline protest jail term

Susan Lambert and Order of Canada recipient Jean Swanson released early

Crews continue extinguish Snowy Mountain Wildfire

The 13,359 hectare wildfire is classified as held

Flights from Kelowna International Airport affected by wildfire smoke

Passengers are being asked to check their flight’s status before arriving

Work continues on Monashee Complex wildfires

Crews will be assisted by helicopters if flying conditions improve

Fast food chains look to capitalize on vegetarian, vegan trend with new items

Seven per cent of Canadians consider themselves vegetarians and 2.3 per cent identify as vegans

Most Read