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Toronto Gambler Sentenced to Prison for Tax Fraud

The U.S. authorities have just recently informed that a Canadian man from Toronto living in Austin Texas, has been sentenced to 30 months in jail. The felon is reportedly addicted to casino games and has tried to defraud the U.S. Dept. of Treasury of almost US$1.8 million in tax refund cash in the 2000s by submitting submitted duplicate and inflated refund requests.

According to the U.S. Justice Department the name of the perpetrator is William Henry Woo is 67 years old and originates from Toronto. He allegedly submitted duplicate and inflated refund requests to the IRS Service Center in Austin, Texas as a Canadian citizen looking to automatically withheld gambling winnings. This occurred from 2006 to 2010.

The Sentence

Mr. Woo successfully defrauded the U.S. Dept. of Treasury of almost $1.8 million in tax refund cash. He pleaded guilty to two counts of the nine-count indictment which was brought against him in October 2022. He is now sentenced to 30 months of federal prison as well as pay back US$1,771,011.67 in restitution for filing false statements on income tax returns.

U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza from the Western District of Texas elaborated that Mr. Woo who has admitted to being addicted to gambling has now lost his biggest bet. She said that he was caught on his gamble to try and defraud the government. She also thanked the IRS Criminal Investigation who investigated the culprit’s deceitful conduct, allowing the system to deliver justice.

Also, U.S. authorities commented that they are also on high alert for grifters like Mr. Woo. Special Agent in Charge Ramsey E. Covington of IRS CI’s Houston Field Office said that fraud schemes against the IRS will not be tolerated, as in their words, stealing form the nation’s treasury is like stealing from every American in the country.

Furthermore, the IRS agent commented that Mr. Woo’s sentence displays the severity of the crime. He also noted that as the 2023 filling season kicks off, IRS-CI Special Agents are devoted to examining quickly stopping and suggesting for criminal prosecution all frauds against the IRS. Including tax schemes, return preparer fraud, and stolen identity refund fraud.

Prevalent Issue in Canada

Back in Canada, provinces are also dealing with a fair share of attempts of fraud in gambling. For instance, in Quebec, a former Loto-Québec employee will be facing a one-year suspended jail sentence to be served in the community. Back in 2020, he was detected attempting to cash out funds from players of the Crown corporation’s online gaming platform.

In addition to that, former Liberal MP Raj Grewal was charged with abuse of his political position to defraud millions of dollars and misuse of his government budget. Mr. Grewal admitted to having been suffering from gambling addiction, which is why he broke the law. In his words, he even participated in self-exclusion programs with gaming authorities in Ontario and Quebec.

Source: Hunter, Brad “Toronto gambling addict jailed 30 months for $1.8 million tax scamToronto Sun, January 26, 2023