The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) announced that James Harvey Cameron, a former resident of Calgary, has been sentenced to 11 years in jail and fined $550,892 after defrauding investors of over $2.5 million through a deceptive investment scheme. The judge also ordered Cameron, 66, to pay restitution of $1,831,700 to his victims.
If Mr. Cameron fails to pay his fine in six months he will have to serve an additional four years in jail for default.
From 2002-2006, Cameron operated a fraudulent RRSP scheme which promised a 2% monthly return to individual investors. The scheme raised just under $8 million, but only paid out a total of $882,000 to investors. Cameron misappropriated the funds to support his luxurious lifestyle, including buying property, cars, a horse, and a $75,000 cruise in the Bahamas. He also transferred funds offshore to Barbados.
A Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) investigation proved that Cameron diverted $3.9 million of the investors’ funds for his own use and failed to report this as income on his tax returns, evading $1,132,882 in taxes.
“I have no doubt whatsoever that [Cameron] executed a deceptive investment scheme with subjective knowledge of the prohibited act and consequences,” said presiding judge, Justice P.R. Jeffrey, in his written reasons for convicting Cameron. “The CRA acted towards him with considerable patience, forbearance and fairness. He was given ample opportunity to provide to CRA any plausible alternate explanation for what occurred, yet did not.”
Justice Jeffrey commented in his sentencing report: “The $1,831,700 I have ordered payable in restitution should be subtracted from his [Cameron] total taxable income… therefore I find his taxable income to have been $2,118,817.”
Cameron was convicted of tax evasion under the Income Tax Act and fraud under the Criminal Code.
Sentencing took place at the Court of Queen’s Bench in Calgary.