Sentence for $41M Revenue Canada Fraud Increased to 3 Years

Kevin Plange, a Toronto man who has been found to have almost defrauded $40 million from Revenue Canada was given an increase of prison sentence. Ontario Court of Appeal said that the 18 months ruling which was initially given to Plange was too short a time for the crime he committed and so the sentence was upped to 3 years.

Appeal Court Steps In

According to the Appeal Court, the sentence initially imposed was not fit when compared to other large-scale frauds and that the sentencing judge understated the respondent’s moral blameworthiness. With this said, the court also decided that the initial time served is enough and Plange does not have to go back to jail. The court also said that his rehabilitation showed that there is no need for serving more time in jail.

On a separate note, the Appeal Court upheld the validity of serving a mandatory sentence of 2 years of jail time for fraud over $1 million. They also added that the trial judge engaged in unacceptable hypothetical exercise by determining that provision as unconstitutional.

Case Details

Plange is a University of Toronto arts graduate who has been earning well. He developed a gambling problem which resulted in huge debts. By his admission, he engaged in a year-long scam starting August 2013 in which he made 28 fake direct-deposit information forms to CRA.

Because of the above, CRA deposited millions of dollars in tax refunds and rebates owed to 12 huge corporations into bank accounts controlled by Plange. When things were discovered, CRA has already paid Plange almost $42 million. It was only due to bank diligence that Plange was only able to withdraw $15,000. Considering everything, the defrauded amount is still more than $1,000,000.

Superior Court Justice Shaun Nakatsuru considered the mandatory minimum of 2 years imprisonment as cruel and unusual although he acknowledged that it was not out of line for what Plange did. Instead of the mandatory sentence for fraud over $1,000,000, he sentenced Plange to 18 months and reduced to 13 months for pre-sentence bail conditions and time served. The Crown appealed for both and the Appeal Court agreed on both appeals. The Appeal Court stated that Nakatsuru engaged in wrong speculation and used hypothetical situations where the mandatory minimum could be seen as excessive. They also said that any future attempt to overturn the mandatory minimum will undergo an evaluation based on the facts presented and the time.

Unjust Sentencing?

Regarding the sentence given to Plange. The Appeal Court found out that the judge believed Plange’s excuses that the fraud committed was spontaneous, simple, and was a one-time act. The Appeal Court also said that this claim is incomplete and made to understate the effort made by Plange to commit fraud.

Fraud is everywhere and people will do anything to excuse the fraud they’ve committed. If you want to know the truth, you will have to dig deep with the help of professionals. If you need private investigation services such as consulting, surveillance, background checks, or more, contact us to talk to our private investigators.

What You Need to Know About Corporate Investigations

Corporate-Private-Investigations

New corporate clients often ask us a lot of questions. We’ve compiled the most commons ones along with answers straight from our team of seasoned private investigators. Sit back and get to find out why your company might be in need of a corporate investigation.

What is corporate investigation?

Corporate investigation is a deep assessment conducted by a private investigator to help organizations be protected from compromised customer information, misuse or abuse of your company network, possible damaged reputation, or any liability if your company network has been used to launch an attack on other systems.

In a nutshell, corporate investigations perform a thorough investigation of your operations and that is why it can also be referred to as business investigations.

What services are provided by private eyes for corporate investigations?

If you want to find out if embezzlement or fraud is going on, if a potential business partner is clean, or if a possible business merger will benefit you, then a corporate investigation is a service that private investigators can provide to help with that.

Private investigators can provide business investigation services for a wide range of topics such as criminal inquiries, background checks, financial searches, and intellectual property breach.

Why would a company need business investigation?

Business these days is all about being informed so you can make the best decisions. Business investigations arm you with that information and other tools for your organization’s success. Examples of this are as follows:

  • Businesses remain prosperous through brand monitoring, media monitoring, compliance audits, and internet monitoring.
  • You can be protected from your competition and those who wish to take advantage of your company with the help of intellectual property investigations.
  • Internal operations can be protected from fraud by checking up on your new partners (or third parties that you hire) and performing background checks for potential hires, more so for a crucial position.
  • Investigations on due diligence can prevent your company from heading to a lawsuit.
  • Your company can get the compensation or damages it is entitled to in the event of a deal gone sour or a partnership that has gone rogue.

What happens during a corporate investigation?

Business investigations can be performed a variety of ways and tailored to your specific needs. The private investigator you hire will guide you on what specific services you need based on your case. This is why it is crucial that you be as direct about the information you are seeking or the needs you want to be addressed so the private investigator can help resolve your situation.

What services are conducted during a business investigation?

Some of the services provided by private investigators include due diligence, integrity testing, counter measure sweeps, computer forensics, financial investigation, surveillance, and security penetration checks.

Why you need to hire a private investigator for a corporate investigation?

Let’s face it, the more you know about your competitors, your internal operations, your business partners, and your market, the more likely that you’ll succeed. It is not uncommon for companies these days to have internal corporate investigators or have some private investigators on retainer so that they can get the information they need as soon as they need them.

Being on top of what is going on means having an edge over everyone else. Businesses are complex entities, and the larger your business, the less likely that the ‘real score’ gets delivered on top. With corporate investigations, you’ll be able to see through departments that may be hiding data, partners that may also be partners with your competitors, or moles posing as job applicants.

Don’t forget, hiring experienced private investigators that knows the ins and outs of corporate law means getting data that matters, that is admissible in court, and free from corporate politics.

Contact us or use the navigation tabs above to know more about Haywood Hunt corporate investigation services and how hiring us can help your business grow. Your initial consultation is on us!

 

How a Private Investigator Can Help Win an Attorney’s Case

No matter how good an attorney’s assistant is, how many experts are willing to help, or how strong is an attorney’s track record in winning cases, there is still hidden information that private investigators can provide to make a case stronger. When you need an analytical mind, a fresh set of eyes, or just someone who loves uncovering new evidence, a private investigator is exactly the professional you need. With this said, how much help can a private investigator provide to a lawyer? After all, lawyers are usually skilled at interviewing, research, forming arguments, and presenting evidence – so will a private investigator be worth it to hire for a lawyer? Below are some things that a private investigator can do for an attorney.

A Private Eye Can Find New Leads and New Evidence

A private investigator can see things that the attorney may miss because he is looking at details with fresh eyes. Because a private eye doesn’t know the details of the case, he can review new avenues that can lead to the discovery of new leads and evidence. Examples are inconsistencies in investigation, witness statements, claims, emails and texts, medical records, and police reports.

A Private Investigator Can Help with Computer Forensics

In this digital age, uncovering information that may be hidden in computers and smartphones can be of great importance to a case. A private eye may be able to review someone’s online chats, downloads, purchases, browsing history, financial transactions, photos, emails, texts, and more to piece together helpful information. Even erased files may be retrieved and can help in cases that need to prove infidelity, theft, intellectual property theft, fraud, destruction of information, blackmail, and sexual harassment.

A Private Investigator Can Find Hidden Assets

Knowing what assets are involved is important in civil cases such as divorce. Although an attorney may know there are hidden assets, obtaining the evidence to prove this legally is a job for the private investigator. The private eye can check for offshore accounts, undisclosed income, hidden real estate, and more to help a victim claim money after a judgement.

A Private Eye Can Conduct a Social Media Check

Social media can help reveal a person’s real identity and create a comprehensive background of a person. A good private investigator can connect the dots between a social media profile and other publicly available information that can, in turn, help create stronger legal arguments that can win a case.

A Private Investigator Can Do Surveillance and Produce Video Evidence

May it be for fraud or cheating, video evidence is compelling proof that such may be happening. A strong evidence that leaves no doubts can really turn tides in a case.

One thing is clear, both lawyers and private investigators are experts in their respective fields. An attorney knows the law and how to present facts in a way that the law will favour. On the other hand, a private eye has access to techniques and skills that can uncover some very useful information in a legal manner. It just makes sense for both professionals to work together!

Are you an attorney in need of private investigation services? Contact us at Haywood Hunt today so we can discuss how we can collaborate with you as soon as possible. We can assist with in-depth background checks, private investigator help in a divorce case, finding a missing or hiding person, gathering evidence for business fraud, and more.

Hiring a Private Investigator to Run In-Depth Background Checks

If you’re thinking about conducting background checks, you might be wondering if hiring a private investigator will make a difference. That is a good question to have because private investigation services don’t usually come cheap. Is it truly worth it to hire a private investigator for running background checks?

What Background Checks Are For

Background checks are done as a preventive measure to minimize risks. Before welcoming someone as part of your organization, you’ll want to at least know that he or she is who he or she presents to be. The last thing you want is to hire someone who has a history of business fraud or is connected to a competitor. Know that once someone is part of your company, he or she will have access to a lot of information that can hurt you, your business, and your clients or customers. With this in mind, running background checks is a good investment that can save you from trouble and losses in the future.

Cost of Hiring a PI Agency for Background Checks

How much a private investigator may charge varies because of many factors. Some background checks may require more effort and resources and hence, will cost more. Some may take just a few days of work and some may need a few weeks to sort through things depending on the depth and purpose of the background check being done.

Why Use a PI Agency for Background Checks?

It is possible that you’re quite internet-savvy and can look up some data that are not readily available. However, a licensed private investigator often has access to more secure databases because they oftentimes possess a background in security, know the right people, and can legally do so. Because of this, professional private investigators can provide deeper checks and better analysis that in turn produce better results for their clients. Perhaps you or someone you know can also extract data; however, it takes years of experience and practice to know how to do proper and legal data extraction. More so, should there be data that is vague, a private investigator is capable of following up via the right avenue until clear answers are extracted.

Do it the Right Way

Perhaps one of the most commonly overlooked reasons why you need to hire a private investigator to conduct background checks is to make sure that everything remains legal. There is a fine line between stalking, invasion of privacy, and plain background check. Unless you truly know the ins and outs of everything, you might end up committing a chargeable offence by doing a DIY background check. By hiring a licensed private investigator, you can be sure of professional procedures that do not violate any law and can keep you out of trouble too.

Are you looking for reliable private investigation service providers in Toronto and Ontario? Contact us at Haywood Hunt & Associates. We’ll be happy to answer questions you may have and will be glad to assist you should you decide to hire a private investigator from our team.

The Big Cost of Small Business Fraud

Small business fraud happens across all countries and social status. Although the figures we shared in this write up is a couple of years old, the trend remains the same and it is clear that small business fraud is costing companies a huge amount of money each year.

Losing Money to Fraud

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners releases the Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse every couple of years. It showed that in 2016, business fraud for 114 countries clocked in a median loss of $150,000 per company and that it took approximately 18 months before fraud was detected. Another shocking fact is that 76% of fraud was by people from each company’s customer service, purchasing, operations, sales, management, and accounting departments.

Effect of Fraud for Small Businesses

Given the median figure lost to fraud, it isn’t difficult to imagine how much fraud affects small businesses. Generally speaking, small businesses do not have enough buffer to cover a median loss of $150,000, unlike bigger businesses. A business worth $500,000 will no doubt be crippled by a loss of $150,000 versus a business worth a couple of millions which will have an easier time bouncing back. Note too that despite fraud getting uncovered, 58.1% of all victim companies do not ever recover any of their fraud-related losses.

Now, consider too that more than 23% of victimized companies lose more than $1,000,000. A loss this huge will force a small business to close doors or downsize to the point of only operating with a skeleton crew.

It is Time to Act Against Fraud

With the scary figures shared above, there is no better time to act against small business fraud than now. There is no need to wait until you uncover fraud in your organization when you can work against preventing it now. If you are a small business owner, you may want to take a closer look into how you run your company because it is small businesses that often do not have the correct measures to prevent occupational fraud from happening, to begin with.

Try to look from the top going to the bottom. Why? Because chances are that you’ll lose more to a manager committing fraud than an employee sneaking out a few office supplies home. Optimizing your internal control is one of the best ways you can prevent fraud in your business.

You can also implement counter checks to prevent fraud. You can start with making sure that there are multiple people with separate duties who are responsible for handling accounts payable and accounts receivable. This will minimize the possibility of an individual manipulating records to pocket some of the company’s funds. If this is not feasible for you, you can make use of digital tools that you can access anywhere you may be or perhaps outsource your bookkeeping so that a third party can easily detect any suspicious activity.

There are a lot more solutions to prevent small business fraud other than the ones outlined above. If you’re keen to know more, contact us at Haywood Hunt and find out how some of our private investigation services can be used to combat fraud in your organization.

 

8 Step to Hiring the Best Private Investigator

Hiring a private investigator in Toronto, Mississauga or anywhere in the GTA isn’t as easy as placing a phone call for a number you got online or through a referral. If you’re hiring a private investigator, chances are that it is for a very serious matter that is important to you. You’ll need to give personal details as well as coordinate closely with your private investigator. Because of this, you must make sure that the private investigator you’ll be hiring is competent and can be trusted. Below are must-follow steps when hiring a private investigator.

Make Sure that the Private Investigator Has a License

Anyone can claim to be a private investigator. For professional results, you’ll have to make sure that your private eye has a verified license because this is important for any evidence they uncover to be admissible in court. A licensed private investigator has undergone the right training and education to make sure that they only obtain data in an ethical and safe manner.

Learn What Information the Private Eye Will Need from You

Private investigator can’t work without a grasp of what they need to work on. Ask which documents or information they’ll need so you can be ready with those. This will also help you determine if you’re comfortable sharing some information with your private eye.

Take a Closer Look at Their Private Investigation Services

How do they work and what private investigation services do they offer? Do they have the proper tools and equipment? Can they tell you more about how they plan to help you and explain the steps they’ll take?

Meet the Private Eye in Person

To gauge whether you will have a good working relationship, you’ll need to meet your private investigator in person. This will also allow you to ask important questions that might be easy to evade via phone call or email.

Verify the Location of their Physical Office

A private eye will handle sensitive information about you and what you want to be done. If a private eye refuses to meet in his or her office, then that is a sign that there might be issues in the future.

Discuss Confidentiality

Confidentiality is part of a private investigator’s job but it won’t hurt to have a discussion about it just to be sure that you are both in the same page. This is to ensure your safety since the private eye will likely uncover information about you and your loved ones during the course of the investigation.

Verify Experience

This isn’t to say that new private eyes are not good hires but if you want the best outcome possible, you’ll have better chances if you hire a private investigator with enough experience. You can verify this via references from past clients, feedback online, or by asking the private eye for details on his or her technical skills and education as well as samples of similar work done in the past.

Ask About Fees and Scope of Contracts

A lot of private investigators do not charge for the initial consultation but succeeding interactions may be charged no matter how brief. Ask about the fees and obtain a written copy so you would know what to expect when your bill comes.

Are you looking for private investigation services provider in Toronto? Contact us at Haywood Hunt! If you’re thinking of hiring a private investigator with a solid reputation and years of experience, give us a call today!

 

Common Types of Occupational Fraud in Canada

Dealing with occupational fraud is an unavoidable part of having a business. It can come in the form of financial statement fraud, corruption, or misappropriation of assets. If you own or manage a company, you should do all that is necessary to protect yourself and your business from occupational fraud.

What is Occupational Fraud?

Occupational fraud is also called internal fraud, employee fraud, or workplace fraud. It is a broad term that pertains to any fraud that happens in the work setting.

Do you know that there are other common types of occupational fraud besides employees stealing money? Stealing money, supplies, or hours, as an employee, owner, or executive falls under the most common one called misappropriation of assets. Understanding the types of fraud is key to protecting one’s business and preventing more occurrences. This action should start from the top going down to employees. Everyone who is part of a company should understand the consequences of fraud in the workplace so that they can work together in minimizing fraud.

Below are the common types of occupational fraud.

Corruption

Corruption accounts for 40% of reported occupational fraud cases in Canada. In corruption, an executive, employee, or owner abuses his or her position for personal gain. It can go hand in hand with both financial statement fraud and misappropriation of assets.

Examples of corruption include:

  • Product substitution, using counterfeit or cheaper product with lower quality and pocketing the difference in cost
  • Creating false health insurance claims with the help of a health care provider
  • Conniving with a vendor to make create payments for services or goods that were never rendered
  • Kickbacks from business deals
  • Bribery by using company or business funds to benefit another person or company in the name of personal gain

Financial Statement Fraud

Financial statement fraud makes 14% of reported cases of occupational fraud in Canada. It is a type of workplace fraud wherein employee alters cash flow statements or balance sheets to manipulate people’s perception upon seeing them. Motivations for financial statement fraud may range from wanting to keep the business afloat, attain loans for the business, or personal gain and may occur together with corruption and misappropriation of assets.

Examples of financial statement fraud include:

  • Exaggerating the value of an asset
  • Making false sales records
  • Making present earnings seem higher by not reporting expenses until later

Misappropriation of Assets

Misappropriation of assets is the most common type of occupational fraud in Canada and the world. In misappropriation of assets, any member of a company uses his position to steal anything of value.

Examples of misappropriation of assets include:

  • False expense reports
  • Cheque tampering and forgery
  • Submitting false sales to collect a commission on said sales
  • Tampered time sheets
  • Using company vehicles or machine for personal use
  • Abusing company credit card by charging personal expenses on it
  • Theft of intellectual property, services, time, supplies, or cash
  • Paying false vendors as part of purchase order schemes

Protect Your Business from Fraud

The effects of small-time fraud can accumulate into huge loses for a business. Some businesses lose a significant chunk of money to fraud and end up closing down. It is important for everyone to understand that fraud can cost everyone their livelihood. If you need help protecting your business from fraud, do not hesitate to contact us at Haywood Hunt. We’ll be happy to discuss with you how our private investigation services can help you to uncover fraud as well as minimize its occurrence in your organization.

 

Why Your Business May Need a Private Investigator

Most people think that a business only needs a private investigator when something goes wrong. Some think that a private investigator is only hired for investigating personal matters such as infidelity or finding missing children. Private investigation services have evolved by quite a lot in the past decade. These days, more private investigators are working with businesses than investigating personal matters.

Nowadays, there is an increasing number of small businesses and entrepreneurs who hire private investigators for a variety of private investigation services such as tracking business partners, doing background checks, and more. Below are the ways that a business may benefit from hiring a private investigator.

Referrals to Attorneys

Private investigators work with lawyers from a lot of fields. They know who overcharges clients, who has a less than desirable track record, and who’s the best. If you want to know which lawyer you should hire for your business, you should consult your private investigator.

Due Diligence Report for People in Key Positions

It isn’t easy to pick someone who will take care of your business the way you would. You certainly can’t afford to hire the wrong CFO. An unprofessional Chief Financial Officer with a history of money problems can leave your business vulnerable to theft from within. A few hundred dollars spent on a private eye’s services can save you thousands or millions down the road.

Smoother Business Acquisitions

It would be a disaster to acquire a business that you know nothing about; hence, a background check is a necessary first step to make sure that you’re not wasting your investment. The information gathered from a background check can also be used as a trump card in negotiations.

A private investigator can provide you with the following data:

  • Property information
  • Corporate assets
  • Parent companies
  • Current and past employees
  • Risk assessments
  • Officers and directors

Look Up Investment Opportunities

Investing in other companies or businesses can be risky. A private investigator check a company and find out if a potential partnership with them will be truly beneficial for you. You can’t beat accurate information to support business decisions especially when dealing with possible issues, bad employees, existing issues in the company, and pending lawsuits, if any exists.

Background Checks

Not only is it smart to background check potential partners, investments, and acquisitions, it is even smarter to make sure that new hires for your business have undergone a background check. One rotten tomato in your staff can spoil the rest. A private investigator can look up risks, uncover patterns of illegal or irresponsible actions, verify educational backgrounds, and check job history to make sure that you have honest and qualified employees. In the event that you suspect a member of your team has been up to no good, a private investigator can put that person in surveillance to verify your suspicions. Imagine the peace of mind you’ll get when you can get clear answers whether an employee has been disloyal or not.

Are you thinking of availing of private investigation services for your business? Contact us at Haywood Hunt for your obligation-free initial assessment. Talk to us about how you want us to help your business grow stronger.

 

How a Private Investigator Can Help in a Divorce Case

Divorce is in one of the most challenging emotional and personal issues that any adult can face. Imagine a situation wherein your former life partner is now a stranger who may be out to get what you have or take away what is rightfully yours. You certainly can use all the help that you can get to get the divorce over with so that you can move on with your life. Question is, can a private investigator help in a divorce case? Would it do you any good to hire a private investigator? The answer is yes! Below are some of the ways that a private investigator can help in a divorce case.

Uncover Information Regarding Support

Some may not want to pay the right amount of child or spousal support and may deliberately try to make his or her earnings look significantly lower than how much it truly is. For those who own businesses, they may take on more debts or delay collecting money owed to their business. For those who are employed, temporarily cutting hours will make it look like he or she is earning a lot less than their regular income. A private investigator can uncover all these tricks and bring the right information to light.

Find Evidence of Adultery or Any Other Misconduct

Although some areas may have laws for no-fault divorce wherein there is no need to present any evidence of misconduct or adultery for a divorce to push through, there are certain proceedings wherein marital misconduct must be proven beyond doubt such as in the case of having an adultery clause under a prenuptial agreement. For such cases, proving marital misconduct or adultery can result in more favourable terms for a spouse. Proving marital misconduct or adultery may also have a huge impact on child custody, spousal support, and other important agreements.

Check on Child Custody Issues

If a spouse suspects that his or her ex is involved in some activities that may harm their child, a private investigator can look into the matter and see if there is any cause for concern. The other spouse may be placed under surveillance to determine if there is child abuse, questionable behaviour, or use of illegal substances. The private investigator may also talk to neighbours and teachers if needed to gather evidence related to possibly changing child custody.

Help Find Hidden Assets

It is not uncommon to hire a private investigator if you suspect that your spouse is hiding money. Some may hide money and other assets while the marriage is still in good terms and some may start doing so just before filing for a divorce. Whatever the situation is, a private investigator can find hidden assets no matter how well they were hidden. For instance, some may hide money by lending it to a friend, some may buy property in a relative’s name, and some may funnel money to an offshore bank account. All of these leave trails that a private investigator can sniff out and bring out to the open.

Do you need to hire a private investigator to trail your cheating spouse, find hidden money, or just get clear answers for your peace of mind? Contact us anytime and we’ll try our best to help you with our private investigation services.

 

 

 

What Private Investigators Do and When You Should Hire One

There are so many reasons why people hire private investigators in Toronto and the GTA. The most popular reasons include finding information that is not easily obtained, finding a missing person, performing background searches, wanting to place someone under surveillance to eliminate or prove suspicions, and checking a company or person’s credibility. But are these all the things that a private investigator can do? Will a private investigator be able to help with other things? And how does one know when it is time to hire a private investigator versus trying to sleuth on his or her own?

Who Hires a Private Investigator?

Believe it or not, there are some people who have private investigators on permanent call. Some won’t even dream of contacting a private investigator unless it is a matter of really dire circumstances such as having a missing child or a similar situation. The thing is, whether you may need to hire a private investigator or not depends on the life you have and the things that happen to you. It is normal to hire a private investigator. If you’re worrying about overstepping boundaries, know that a professional private eye will only take jobs that are legal and ethical.

When to Hire a Private Investigator?

The best time to hire a private investigator is when you need one. Situations when a private investigator may be needed include:

  • Finding out if someone has been deceiving you
  • Having someone followed to verify or nullify information
  • Needing help with obtaining child custody
  • Conducting background checks on a business, company, or person
  • Checking credibility, location, or identity
  • Pre-screening a business partner or an applicant
  • Checking a possible investment opportunity
  • Researching a threat, crime, or wrongdoing
  • Finding the cause of an accident or damage and the persons who should be held responsible
  • Locating and recovering lost property
  • Debugging one’s office or home
  • Verifying claims (such as for insurance services)
  • Safeguarding your business assets, people, information, and premises
  • Accessing databases and public records
  • Interviewing a witness or investigating a crime
  • Seeking personal help

Private Investigator Services

Private investigators in Ontario offer a variety of private investigation services these days. This is because they have a myriad of skills that are useful for both law enforcement and private individuals. For example, an individual may not know how to access public records or to get data in a legal way that preserves its integrity in court, a private investigator can do that without any hitches. Another is wanting to make sure that a business or personal home is safe. Private investigators can check for possible areas of weaknesses and devise ways on how to make sure a business or one’s personal details are protected from prying eyes and dishonest people. Private investigators can also look for people and track them down. If you’re looking for birth parents, a missing person, a previous employee, a former business partner, or a runaway child, private investigators can find them for you without stepping on anyone’s right to privacy.

Should You Hire a Private Investigator?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. What we can offer you are information on possible scenarios where hiring a private eye can be beneficial for you. The rest will be based on your specific circumstances. If you’re not sure whether you should hire a private investigator or not, contact us and we’ll be happy to answer questions you may have. We can also suggest which private investigation services may be best for your specific needs. Talk to us today!