An auditor at the Canada Revenue Agency received $150,000 from the president of a company shortly after it got a favourable tax ruling, an RCMP search warrant says.
Ex-CRA auditor Adriano Furgiuele received a bank draft from Franceso Bertucci, the president of placement firm Thomson Tremblay, on Jan. 9, 2008. According to the RCMP document, Mr. Bertucci’s company received permission from the CRA in October, 2007, to deduct $2.3-million in “allowable business investment loss” from its taxes.
The file was handled by then-CRA-official Nicola Iammarrone, who ran the final agreement by Mr. Furgiuele, his temporary supervisor at the time, according to the search warrant.
Mr. Furgiuele has denied any wrongdoing, telling Radio-Canada the money was a loan, not a gift.
The RCMP search warrant, obtained by The Globe and Mail and Radio-Canada, was filed in court in connection with police raids linked to allegations of corruption at the federal tax collection agency. At least nine people in the CRA’s Montreal offices have been fired or suspended as a result of the investigation, the CRA says.
The RCMP is alleging some former CRA auditors obtained kickbacks in exchange for favourable tax rulings. Search warrants allege that officials visited restaurants seeking money from owners and managers for glossing over undeclared revenues.
The CRA alleged in a court document in 2009 that Mr. Furgiuele drew up a “plan of action” for a company belonging to his cousin Francesco Bruno to avoid an audit of an affiliate that provided fake invoices to firms in the construction industry.
Mr. Furgiuele, CRA official Antonio Girardi and Mr. Bruno held a bank account in the Bahamas that the CRA alleged contained up to $1.7-million. Mr. Bruno has pleaded guilty to tax evasion in relation to fake invoices
In the Thomson Tremblay case, police alleged the money from Mr. Bertucci was used to renovate a building owned by Mr. Furgiuele, Mr. Girardi and Elias Kawkab, another CRA official. According to the RCMP search warrant, Mr. Kawkab told police he was angry to learn the money came from Mr. Bertucci.
The RCMP alleges that notes written by Mr. Iammarrone in October, 2007, that are included with the search warrant show that he talked about the Thomson Tremblay file with Mr. Furgiuele.
“I discussed with [Mr. Furgiuele]the situation and he said that he would review my working papers in the next couple of days,” Mr. Iammarrone wrote on Oct. 25.
Two days later, Mr. Iammarrone wrote: “I met with Adriano who returned my working papers. He said they were okay except with some minor adjustments to make. I told him that I would make the necessary adjustments and that I would close the file.”
Mr. Bertucci did not co-operate with police in the matter. His lawyer told the RCMP that Mr. Bertucci had a horse-riding accident in 2009, and suffered from migraines and memory loss.