Halifax businessman sentenced to 3 years in prison, $600K in fines for tax evasion, fraud

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Aug. 9, 2021 – A Halifax businessman has been sentenced to three years in prison and must pay more than $600,000 in fines after being convicted of fraud and tax evasion.

Ralston MacDonnell and three of his companies were found guilty of seven counts of fraud and four counts of tax evasion by a Halifax provincial court judge in May, according to a news release from the Canada Revenue Agency.

The news release said an investigation revealed that MacDonnell had been operating an engineering firm in Halifax that had splintered into three companies: MacDonnell Security Risk Management Ltd., MacDonnell Group of Canada Ltd. and 3182552 Nova Scotia Limited.

On May 18, a Halifax Provincial Court judge found MacDonnell and three of his related companies guilty of seven counts of fraud and four counts of tax evasion. In addition to the court imposed fine, MacDonnell will also have to pay the full amount of tax owing, plus related interest and any penalties assessed by the CRA.