Judge did not improperly reverse burden of proof

Ontario criminal | Appeal

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Judge did not improperly reverse burden of proof

Appeal by accused from his conviction of one count of tax evasion in 1996 and for two counts for failing to file income tax returns dismissed. Contrary to accused’s submission trial judge not only articulated correct test for mens rea but she properly applied it when she found that accused intended to evade tax payments when he failed to file his 1996 return. There was overwhelming evidence that accused failed to file 1996 return for purpose of evading payment of taxes that he owed. Judge’s verdict, that accused did not commit tax evasion in 1996 when net worth method was used but he did commit that offence when direct method was used, was not inconsistent. Crown did not pursue alternative issues of liability, but rather, it offered two different methods of proof which were both legitimate. Judge did not improperly reverse burden of proof. She properly instructed herself and she then applied burden of proof.

R. v. Zuk (Apr. 12, 2012, Ont. S.C.J., Trotter J., File No. 90/08) 100 W.C.B. (2d) 500 (9 pp.).

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