Markham woman jailed over fake church receipts

By 
  • August 13, 2007

{mosimage}TORONTO - A Markham tax preparer who provided clients with bogus receipts for donations to Catholic parishes in the archdiocese of Toronto has been sentenced to two years in jail.

Purisima Dy, 62, was convicted in the tax-evasion scheme in a Toronto court. She pled guilty to one count of fraud and another charge of uttering forged documents in June. She was sentenced in late July to a two-year term and a further three years probation.

The dubious tax dodge didn’t cost the Catholic Church in Toronto any money, since the donations in question never existed, archdiocese of Toronto spokesman Neil MacCarthy told The Catholic Register when the charges were laid in January.

“No actual money changed hands, and no donor data or information or parish records were ever compromised,” MacCarthy told The Catholic Register. “This individual just wrote fake receipts for money that was never donated.”

{sidebar id=1} In a statement of facts that accompanied her guilty plea, Dy acknowledged she provided almost 1,200 clients tax returns containing nearly $3.8 million in fake charitable donations to 39 Catholic churches in the diocese.

RCMP fraud investigators had been working with archdiocese of Toronto accountants on a nine-month investigation to uncover the scheme which defrauded the Government of Canada of approximately $1 million.

“It shows that our practices in terms of accounting and accountability are sound,” MacCarthy told The Register when the charges were laid. “We’re able to track legitimate donations so that if there is some impropriety that takes place we’re able to flag that pretty easily.... Any tax receipt that goes out we are able to track from a parish level.”

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