Tag Archives: CRA

Wealthy ‘ghost immigrants’ using empty homes to claim citizenship: tax expert

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Wealthy ‘ghost immigrants’ using empty homes to claim citizenship: tax expert

Tax and immigration specialist David Lesperance explains how so-called ‘ghost immigrants’ circumvent Canada’s immigration system.

Published Monday, January 29, 2018 10:58AM EST 
Last Updated Tuesday, January 30, 2018 7:42AM EST

Some foreign investors, particularly those from China, are taking advantage of Canadian loopholes to become ghost immigrants, according to David Lesperance, a tax and immigration consultant with Lesperance & Associates.

Lesperance cites one recent judge’s decision from a lawsuit in which the judge said Chinese millionaire Guoqing Fu bought multiple multi-million-dollar homes in Canada while claiming just $97 in worldwide income on his taxes. The judge’s 600-page ruling in the case was posted online earlier this month.

“That was really pushing the edge,” Lesperance told CTV’s Your Morning on Monday. He says the situation would have gone unnoticed if Fu’s family and his partners, the Xia family, had not turned on each other and exposed their activities in court.

“These were two parties…who fell out and decided to sue each other in civil court,” Lesperance said.

The judge’s ruling from the case indicates Fu “had a large and successful business in China,” yet he only claimed “a miniscule worldwide income of $97.11” on his Canadian income tax return, despite spending millions on three different homes. “This was an incredible assertion given the fact he owns one of the top 10 textile manufacturing and distribution companies, based in one of the biggest textile manufacturing centres of China,” the judge’s decision said.

Lesperance says wealthy foreigners are using these tactics to game the Canadian system because no one is investigating to verify that they’re actually physically living in Canada. He says the Canadian immigration system isn’t really looking at these people, and that the Canada Revenue Agency isn’t focused on them because it lacks the resources to do so.

A spokesperson for the CRA said it works with provincial and municipal governments to enforce local tax and principal residency laws.

“The government… is actively engaged in monitoring and addressing the overall health and stability of the housing market and financial system in Canada,” a spokesperson for the CRA told CTVNews.ca in a statement.

The CRA says it recovered $117.9 million by conducting 4,471 audits from April 2015 to September 2017 in B.C. It also recovered $331.2 million through 21,280 audits conducted over that same period in Ontario. The highest penalty was almost $2.5 million, according to the agency’s website.

“It is important to note that the mandate of the CRA is to administer the tax legislation provided by the Department of Finance,” the CRA spokesperson said, adding that issues of immigration fall under the mandate of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

An IRCC spokesperson said the department is continually working to improve its systems to detect fraud.

“The government of Canada takes any kind of citizenship or immigration fraud seriously,” a spokesperson told CTVNews.ca in a statement. The spokesperson added that the IRCC works with the RCMP and the Canada Border Services agency to enforce the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and its regulations, “including allegations of fraud.”

The IRCC points out that the CBSA is responsible for investigating suspected immigration fraud.

The CBSA has set up a hotline for reporting immigration or citizenship fraud.

Lesperance suggests foreign buyers are pulling off these schemes in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, where their homes are sitting empty despite high demand for housing in the area.

“While they are getting the benefits of Canadian permanent residence and citizenship, they are, like this gentleman, not contributing to the tax base,” Lesperance said. “They’re driving up house prices, they are denuding neighbourhoods of vibrancy and customers for local restaurants and businesses, and they’re not contributing to the tax base.”

Canada’s hottest markets have taken steps to curb this practice recently, by imposing foreign buyer taxes, as well as taxes on homes that sit vacant. Numbers released by Ontario in December show foreign home buying was down due to higher taxes in the latter part of the year.

Lesperance suggests the solution is for Revenue Canada to start cracking down on these individuals by auditing them – a process that is much easier to do now than it was 20 years ago because of social media and the internet.

“If they do that they will send a shock through this community,” he said. He suggests a wave of audits would force these investors to decide between paying their taxes in Canada or abandoning their pursuit of citizenship altogether.

Lesperance says this has been going on at least since the 1990s, when someone informed him about it by handing him what he calls a “scoundrel’s guide to circumventing the Immigration and Citizenship Act.”

Lesperance says the tactic is not isolated to one particular group.

“It’s not endemic to one particular group of immigrants,” Lesperance said. “It’s just endemic to immigrants who look at the situation and say, ‘It’s easy to cheat, I get all the benefits, the costs are low and they’re not chasing me.’

“And at the end of the day, you get citizenship.”

Those Who Call Themselves Refugees Are Not Necessarily Refugees

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Those Who Call Themselves Refugees Are Not Necessarily Refugees

March 28, 2017


In the past few months, Canadians have heard of hundreds of so-called “refugees” crossing Canada’s land border with the U.S. and making claims for refugee status in Canada.

Canadians have good reason to be suspicious of the validity of such claims. To make this point clearer, we are re-publishing the confession of an Israeli citizen who entered Canada in 2007 from the U.S. with his wife and children. With the complicity of refugee advocates in Toronto and experienced fraudsters who had duped Canadian immigration/refugee authorities and succeeded in getting refugee status, he and his family were also granted refugee status.

After living off Canada for several years, he became tired of lying and returned to Israel. This bulletin is his confession of the fraud that he and his family committed.

This confession should remind Canadians of the extensive fraud that has occurred in Canada’s refugee system. It is happening again on a very visible stage.

This is a very large problem for a number of reasons.

(1) Since 1989, the year that the Mulroney government failed to institute a Safe Country law to prevent fake refugees from making claims, well over 1,000,000 people have filed refugee claims here. We’ll say that again: Over one million!!! If Canada had not instituted its Safe Country list and its Safe Country agreement with the U.S., Canada would have had to deal with at least tens of thousands more fake refugee claimants. (See the link to the list and the year when the safe country approved of its name being added to the list: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/refugees/reform-safe.asp)

(2) Canada’s immigration lobby, (immigration lawyers, immigration consultants, immigration advocates and ethnic groups) sabotaged 1989 safe country legislation and eventually diverted billions of dollars from helping real refugees overseas to filling the pockets of the lobby. It is now pressing to have Canada’s Safe Country Agreement with the U.S. repealed. Critics have described the lobby as a veritable cesspool which has have repeatedly duped our immigration system.

(3) Canada (along with the U.S.) has one of the highest refugee claim acceptance rates in the world. Yet, the immigration lobby is trying to portray the U.S. as a country with a high refugee applicant refusal rate.

(4) Canada’s right to defend itself from fraudsters who have used loopholes to abuse Canada is being assaulted again. As a result of the notorious “Singh Decision” in 1985 in which six citizens of India named “Singh” and one from Guyana successfully challenged a section of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Refugee claimants subsequently became eligible to receive Canadian health and social assistance benefits. This decision meant that Canadian taxpayers eventually had to pay about $2 to $3 Billion per year for benefits provided to people who made refugee claims. At the peak of the abuse of Canada’s refugee system, about 30,000 to 40,000 claims were being made here every year.

(5) While Canada’s quasi-judicial refugee system provided huge profits for the immigration lobby, it ignored the spirit of the law. According to the Supreme Court, “The issue before the Supreme Court was whether the refugee determination process existing at the time was invalid because it did not necessarily provide the claimant with an oral hearing. The judges’ greatest concern with the Immigration Act was the lack of opportunity of the claimant to state his case and know the Minister’s case against the claimant. At that time, an application before the Immigration Appeal Board (IAB) was usually rejected before the refugee claimant had an opportunity to discover the Minister’s case against him in the context of a hearing. The Court therefore found that the refugee determination procedures established in the Immigration Act, 1976 did not accord the refugee claimant fundamental justice and violated section 7 of the Charter.” The Supreme Court of Canada noted that the word “person” in the Canadian charter meant that a ‘person” in Canada did not have to be a Canadian citizen in order to receive health and social assistance benefits.

(6) The impact of refugee claimants has been enormous. Our Department of Citizenship and Immigration has not revealed the number of relatives that accepted refugees have sponsored, but that figure is probably the major percentage of several million Family Class immigrants who have come to Canada since 1989. In fact, family re-unification has become village re-unification. For example, as we have pointed out before, one Somali man has brought 100 “family” members to Canada. Many well-publicized cases of fraud (the Laibar Singh case) demonstrate the cheating that has occurred in Canada’s refugee system. Laibar Singh was eventually deported to the Punjab, and admitted there that his claim was fraudulent. However, hundreds of thousands of other fraudsters remain in Canada and laugh at Canada.

(7) A full list of the reasons given for claiming refugee status has never been published, but it would probably show how far Canada has traveled from Canada’s early intentions to help real refugees. For instance, people have claimed they needed refugee status because they were fat, gay, being called names, subjected to spousal abuse, etc. The amazing thing is that they have had a significant number of Canadians actually believe that these are legitimate reasons for these people to be granted refugee status. Some refugee claimants are genuine, but as the the case of the Israeli man shows, the sympathy and star status that is given to almost all refugee claimants is not deserved.


November 23, 2011


I am writing from Tel Aviv in Israel. The major characters in the following story are me (Innocent Kwarteng—a fake name I used in Canada), my ex-wife, and my two oldest children. We are all Israeli citizens. My wife is an Ethiopian Falasha Jew who was brought to Israel under a project which allowed Ethiopian Jews to return to Israel as new Immigrants. I am not Jewish originally. I married my wife in 1996 in Israel and as a result, I received Israeli Citizenship. My two oldest children were born in Israel and they are Jewish, based upon the fact that their mother is Jewish.

On May 21, 2007, after I, my wife and two oldest children had traveled from Israel to Orlando, Florida for a family vacation at Disney World, we drove a rented car from Florida to Niagara Falls, Ontario to visit Israeli friends who lived in Toronto. At the time we entered Canada in 2007, I did not think that I would be staying in Canada for long. However, after visiting with these friends in Toronto who had claimed refugee status as Ethiopians, my wife also wanted to stay in Canada. These friends explained how we could make the same claim that they had made. We lived in Toronto for about two months, during which time my wife and I argued about whether or not we should make a refugee claim. On the 24th day of August 2007, we made a false refugee claim. We pretended that we had just landed from Africa (Ethiopia/Ghana). To prevent the truth from being discovered, we hid our Israeli passports at someone else’s house.

In the 4+ years between the time we filed our refugee claim and the time I left, Ontario social services paid for our stay: our accommodation at a cost of $1,100 per month and basic needs. In December 2007, my wife had a new baby (our third of the four children we now have) in Toronto’s Scarborough General Hospital. That child became a Canadian by birth. We gave her a name to suit our fake name, not our original names as registered on our Israeli Passports. At our refugee claim hearing on August 10th, 2009, we were accepted as convention refugees based upon the fact that we were Africans. The Hearing officials did not know that we had Israeli Citizenship because we had not disclosed this fact. We also did not reveal that we had never lived in Ethiopia.

In our refugee application, we also claimed that we had been victims of abuse and torture in Ethiopia. But, in fact, that was a lie because we had never lived there.The whole story we gave the officials in Canada was a pre-arranged story written by people who had already lived in Toronto and who knew how the refugee system worked and how it could be abused.

We had fake identification sent from Ethiopia by my wife’s sister who lived in Ethiopia and to whom we paid money for this service. Among the fake false pieces of identification sent by her were Personal Information Forms (PIF). The names of our siblings, et al were changed to suit my wife’s PIF. Other fraudulent identification consisted of Ethiopian birth certificates for the kids who actually had legitimate birth Certificates from Israel as well as a fake birth Certificate for my wife, and other fake ID cards for me and my wife. My wife also got a fake Ethiopian Driver’s License which she later tried to exchange for a Canadian Driver’s License with the help of an Ethiopian translator who gave her signals during the theory exam about the answers she should give. After the theory test, she tried twice to pass the practical exam and failed. The truth is she had never driven in her life. She did take a few courses in Toronto, but they could not help her to pass the practical test.

My wife badgered me to stay in Canada with her and our children (two of them at that time). While I did not want to stay, I had little choice because I did not want to lose my kids by going back to Israel alone. A year after our arrival, other family members joined us from Israel in the same way that we had come. They also filed Bogus refugee claims by doing the same things we had done.

For details on the Laibar Singh case, see the following: http://immigrationwatchcanada.org/2007/08/16/stand-on-guard-for-canada-ms-finley-and-canada-will-stand-on-guard-for-thee/

This is a continuation of the story I told in Part 1. I am an Israeli Citizen Who filed a Fake Refugee Claim in Canada.


November 29, 2011


In July, 2009, after residing in Toronto for about 2 years, I discovered why my wife so badly wanted to stay in Canada and thus was badgering me to remain in spite of the fact that I wanted to return to Israel where I had my permanent job and home. On July 3, 2009, an old neighbor in Israel contacted me and alerted me of news that my wife had had an affair in our family home in Israel. In the end, she aborted that man’s child.

That news broke in our Israeli neighborhood while we were on our vacation in the USA and Canada. Even before this, she had decided not to return due to the shame she felt. But she kept all of this to herself. When I told my wife what our neighbor had reported to me, she confessed and explained to me that was why she did not want to return to Israel.

Around this time, my wife started attending a church and the pastor started counseling us knowing that we had lied to stay in Canada. I insisted on returning to Israel so she decided (to herself) that her chances of staying in Canada would be better if she claimed that I was abusive towards her and our kids. When I finally decided to return to Israel without her approval, she again refused to leave Canada. But now she added that if I ever revealed the secret of how we got to stay in Canada, she would tell the police that I was an abusive husband and I would be sent to jail while she stayed in Canada. All of these lies in our marriage and news of her affair resulted in our marital breakdown. I realized she was using the kids as a tool because she knew I was a father who loved his kids. I was advised to let her move to an Abused Women’s Shelter so that we could get subsidized housing to help us with our accommodation and to enable us to save some money, but I declined. I did so because I felt guilty about lying even more.

None of us worked in Toronto all the time that we lived there. On December 26th, 2010, when she saw that I still wanted to move back to Israel, but that I would not move back without alerting Citizenship and Immigration Canada of our fraud and apologizing, she went to the church she had been attending. The pastor had advised her to go to the Abused Women’s Shelter the next day and all arrangements were made for her to do that. She had decided that she would be better off financially by doing this. I do not know what expenses were covered and what income she was receiving at the Abused Women’s Shelter. But I do know that she would have subsidized housing and aid from social workers, lawyers, and counselors. I also know that our two youngest children would be able to attend day care there in the shelter and that this would be paid for by the Ontario government. I have no information whatsoever about what goes on in the shelter. She offered to take our two older kids together with our two much younger ones to the shelter. However, the two older kids refused to go with her.

Because my wife had claimed to be a battered woman, a claim which was never true, the Children’s Aid society (CAS) now entered our lives—with the potential to remove the two older kids from their home with me. All this was happening because my wife had told the CAS that the two older children were not safe with me. But after the CAS interviewed the children and me, and concluded that my wife’s statements were not true, the CAS left the children with me. Eventually, the CAS closed their file and, upon my request, sent me copies of everything they had investigated.

There was no Police involvement in our family until I found out that my wife had come to my house one day and taken the two oldest of our children to the Abused Women’s Shelter in Toronto. I contacted the Toronto Police at Scarborough (Eglinton East) and spoke to Officer Omsby. My wife was apprehended. She informed the police that she was going to remain in the shelter and that the two older kids could leave and return to me.

However, not long after this, a new phase began in my life. I started getting invitations to court about custody and support. I knew what was going to happen since the Canadian system favors women. Upon contacting the Police who saw her lies about my alleged abuse, etc., I decided to come clean and leave.

I therefore contacted the CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency), CIC (Citizenship and Immigration), and IRB (Immigration and Refugee Board) and willingly vacated my refugee status. I told them my true identity and that I wanted to return to Israel. I was scrutinized thoroughly. Eventually, CBSA allowed me to leave with my two older children. The CBSA wouldn’t allow the three of us to leave while we were still classified as convention refugees. It’s now been five months since we left Canada.

I went through hell going to and from GTEC (the Greater Toronto Enforcement Centre). In addition to my vacating hearing, CBSA interviewed me and my two older kids to make sure they really wanted to return with me instead of staying with their mother. I now live peacefully in Israel with those two oldest kids. The CBSA currently has my wife’s original Israeli Passport.

At this point, Legal Aid Ontario is paying for a proceeding in Toronto Family Court on whether our two youngest kids (who were born in Canada) can come and join those with me already in Israel. My ex-wife is fighting to keep them in Canada. She hopes that she will succeed in filing a Humanitarian and Compassionate application based upon the fact that she is afraid of coming back to Israel because of me and that she has two Canadian-born kids with her. The Family Court proceedings are still going on due to the fact that Canada’s Department of Immigration and the Ontario government are not doing their job effectively and thus allowing her to use the system to keep the kids there even though those kids are entitled to Israeli Passports and to go to Israel. I have recently heard that she vacated her refugee status in mid-October.

I have read many reports about Immigration and refugee fraud in Canada and regret every bit of fraud that I committed. I apologize to Canada. During the hearing at which I vacated my status willingly, I gave a letter of apology to the panel member and to the CBSA officer (Ms. Sharon Thomas, the CBSA officer). The files on my ex-wife and I were separated that day.

To give readers an idea of how much Canada was paying for our stay, the following will provide a good picture: At the time I and my two oldest children left, I was receiving $589.26 in CCTB (Child tax benefits), $256 in GST and $354.56 in OST benefits. I also received $1,656 from the social services for basic needs and shelter. Last but not least, we received free medical.

The amazing thing is that although I left Canada on May 7th 2011, when I went online at the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) website about a week later, I found out that the CCTB would be depositing the child tax benefit on the 20th of the month as usual. “O my God”, I said to myself. “They are going to do that even though I am not even living in Canada anymore.” I e-mailed a very respectful woman who was at my vacate hearing and asked her what to do. She told me to call the CRA which I did. The man I talked to asked me many questions because he did not believe that I was out of the country till I hit hard. Finally, he agreed to cancel all three of the benefits (CCTB, OST and GST) that the CRA was responsible for. In the next few days when I went online, I found out they had been cancelled.

I also called and faxed my Social worker in the Ontario Social Services office. Because she knew me, she agreed to cancel the benefits (Shelter, Basic needs and medical ) that I and my two oldest children were receiving.

My point here is that the left hand in Canada does not know what the right hand is doing. When my status was vacated, no one from anywhere alerted all the offices (which had been giving financial assistance to us) to cancel the assistance and therefore it continued coming!!!