Four Cape Breton women are heading to jail for their scheme to bilk Canada Revenue out of millions of dollars. Georgette Young, of Sydney, Angela MacDonald, of Kentville, Nadia Saker, of Leitches Creek and Lydia Saker, of Sydney Mines were each sentenced in the Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Sydney. Young was sentenced to four years in prison and fined $1,997,601, MacDonald was sentenced to three years in prison and fined $961,186, Nadia Saker was sentenced to three years in prison and fined $493,620 and Lydia Saker was sentenced to two years in prison and fined $335,099. On February 24, 2022, the three sisters, their mother (Lydia Saker), and their ten companies were found guilty of ten counts of fraud and ten counts of claiming false Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax refunds.
A CRA investigation revealed that between January 1, 2011, and July 31, 2015, the four women filed false GST/HST returns reporting over $56 million in sales and requesting over $3.6 million in refunds in an attempt to defraud the CRA. The women fabricated false invoices, some of which included over $16 million in marketing and advertising, $6.4 million in cookbooks and food products, $5.5 million in catering and $3.7 million in children’s clothing. During this period, the investigation determined that only five of the ten companies had active bank accounts, and the actual business activity of those five companies was in the range of $60,000.
They only received about $275,000 before CRA became suspicious and launched an investigation.
Against the judge’s advice, the women represented themselves in court. One of the defendants, Georgette Young, ,said they were merely “housewives who make cupcakes,” was sentenced to four years.