Peter McCallion, 60, said nothing in a Brampton courtroom Friday after pleading guilty to 15 counts of failing to file personal, corporate, and GST/HST tax returns dating back to 2009.
Originally, McCallion, a real estate agent known for his trademark black Stetson and cowboy boots, had been charged with 53 counts dating back to 2004, but his lawyer and Crown prosecutors agreed to reducing it to 15 counts after McCallion promptly filed all outstanding returns.
McCallion has 27 months to pay the $15,000, $1,000 for each of the offences he pleaded guilty to.
The amount he owes the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) was not made public.
In court, McCallion’s lawyer, Amol Chiplunkar, said his client “was very compliant in ... the process” and that “he has learned from this situation.”
This is not the first time McCallion has made headlines.
In 2011, McCallion was a player in a conflict-of-interest inquiry into his mother`s pushing for a real-estate development deal that would have financially benefited her son. It reportedly came out around this time that Peter McCallion hadn’t filed income tax returns in some time.
Outside court on Friday, McCallion was asked if this, plus his involvement in the inquiry, will leave a black mark on his mother’s legacy.
“No comment,” is all he would say before climbing into a large black pick-up truck.
McCallion also wouldn’t say why he neglected to the file returns in the first place.
Outside court, Federal Crown Jennifer Campitelli said the fine is an appropriate punishment and deterrent, given that McCallion was prompt in filing the outstanding returns.
“For the general populace, there is the understanding that if you don’t file your income tax returns ... there is going to be a penalty,” said Campitelli, adding that the $15,000 fine is on top of anything McCallion may owe the CRA. “Specifically to Mr. McCallion, I think he’s got the message that if he doesn’t file his returns, then there (will) be consequences.”
Campitelli also made it clear this was a case of failing to file, and not any kind of tax fraud or evasion.
McCallion could have faced $25,000 in fines for each offence, plus possible jail time.
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