Testimony in the trial of Harold J. Farr of St. John’s wrapped up Friday afternoon at provincial court. Farr is charged with more than two dozen charges of falsifying tax records while he worked at the Canada Revenue Agency. — Photo by Rosie Gillingham/The Telegram
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.