Former CRA supervisor ordered to pay $50,000 in fines

Rosie Mullaley
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Harold J. Farr in provincial court. — Telegram file photo

Former Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) supervisor Harold J. Farr has been ordered to pay $50,000 in fines for defrauding the federal agency.

Crown and defence lawyers agreed in provincial court this morning to a suspended sentence, meaning Farr will not go to jail.

The Crown wanted a restitution order, but the defence said given his hardships and health issues, one should not be imposed.

Judge Colin Flynn opted not to impose a restitution order.

Farr, 53,  has a terminal illness — Huntington's disease.

He was found guilty in June of 29 charges of defrauding CRA out of more than $50,000.

Twenty-eight of those related to unlawfully making false entries in the records or accounts of taxpayers, under the Income Tax Act, and one count of breach of trust by an officer, under the Criminal Code of Canada.

Between November 2004 and July 2008, while working in a supervisory position, he reset employees' passwords to gain access to the CRA's computer systems. Once he gained access, he falsified information for financial gain.

He made changes to income tax returns for himself, his wife, his father and his niece by increasing information about RRSP contributions, reports for personal income, net business income, medical expenses, spousal claims, charitable donations and child care expenses.

Farr has never denied what he did.

His defence centred around the claim that his disease drove him to do it.

He was diagnosed in 1994 with Huntington's, an incurable, hereditary, neurological disorder which causes cells in a specific part of the brain to deteriorate. Symptoms include obsessive behaviour, aggressiveness and uncontrollable impulses affecting a person's abilities to think and reason.

Farr didn't begin receiving treatment until October 2010.

Organizations: Canada Revenue Agency

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Recent comments

  • David
    October 19, 2012 - 20:31

    And you wonder why people expect so little from government...a bunch of overpaid incompetents who still want more and have no more integrity than to steal it. And what is the purpose of the CRA? To make sure everyone pays their fair share....a real piece of pond scum.

  • Tax payer
    October 19, 2012 - 10:06

    This man says the decease drove him to do what he did,funny it was only limited to his family.No one else got the perks.I think he was full aware of what he was doing.the only thing was he got caught.Only for getting caught red handed it would have continued.

    • june oake
      October 19, 2012 - 19:55

      Had he not been caught would he have ever revealed this disease to employer? Very convenient that he padded the accounts of relatives only...did Revenue Canada have the manpower to check everything he accessed in their system? For 14 years (1994 - 2008) he worked in that Department in a supervisory capacity before he was caught stealing tax dollars - this after he was diagnosed! No one noticed his obsessive behavior and aggressiveness; you'd think there would have been complaints from employees during that period. Do Revenue Canada supervisors have to account to anyone?