This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
The Canada Revenue Agency has acknowledged having “incorrectly” sent a $382,000 tax refund to mob boss Nicolo Rizzuto in 2007, along with a promise to crack down on any wrongdoing inside the tax-collection agency. The Minister of National Revenue, Kerry-Lynne Findlay, declined to directly comment on the matter on Thursday, though statements by retired CRA officials alleged that the cheque raises several fundamental questions regarding the integrity of the tax system, while also pointing towards CRA’s decision to shut down a unit that specifically audited criminal figures.
However, Ms. Findlay did mention in an officially released statement that that “the income tax refund that was incorrectly sent to Rizzuto has been recovered in its entirety.” She alleged that “this Government considers any misconduct by tax officials unacceptable. Those responsible for misconduct must be held accountable.” Ms. Findlay added that “we are acting to hold people accountable. We are committed to cracking down on crime and protecting the integrity of our tax system.”
According to recently surfaced court documents and retired officials, the agency had a $1.5-million lien on Mr. Rizzuto’s home back in 2007, implying that he was ineligible for a reimbursement. A special CRA auditor who specialized in tracking criminal figures, Jean-Pierre Paquette, pointed out the payment as he was going through Mr. Rizzuto’s file. Since the head of the Mafia family was in jail, Mr. Paquette spoke to Mr. Rizzuto’s lawyer before going to his house, where he recovered the cheque from his wife and daughter.