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Court Briefs

A Sturgeon County computer specialist is out almost $24,000 after he was caught cheating on his taxes.

A Sturgeon County computer specialist is out almost $24,000 after he was caught cheating on his taxes.

Kevin McKinstry, a 48-year-old married businessman who lives on an acreage in Sturgeon County, plead guilty to two counts of tax evasion in Morinville Provincial Court Sept. 16. He was charged under sect. 239.1(d) of the Income Tax Act (intentional avoidance of tax payment) and sect. 327.1(e) of the Excise Tax Act (failure to report tax).

According to court records, McKinstry started Professional PC Services Inc. in 1997, later changing it to an unnamed computer company. Working out of his home, he visited local clients to buy, sell and fix computers.

The Canada Revenue Agency investigated McKinstry’s business after an audit suggested he was paying less tax than he should, said spokesperson Ron Quinn. Investigators found that McKinstry had lied on his tax returns from 2004 to 2007 by not reporting $164,275 of business income, worth $21,539 in taxes. He also kept $10,048 worth of GST that he was supposed to send to the government.

Judge Charles Gardner fined McKinstry $23,690 for both counts, equivalent to 75 per cent of the taxes evaded, and gave him 12 months to pay. There are no victim’s fine surcharges for tax act offences.

Business owners need to report all income on their returns to the best of their ability, Quinn said. “When you purposely set out not to pay tax on $164,000, that’s when you and I start to pay more tax.”

A woman accused of destroying the inside of the Cargo & James Tea shop in downtown St. Albert is out on bail but can’t go within a block of the business.

Anna Majchrzak has been in custody since Aug. 30 after allegedly going on a destructive rampage at the café.

Reading from the police report, Crown prosecutor Scott Pittman said Majchrzak is accused of smashing a door, puncturing walls, breaking glass and smearing paint throughout the business.

“There was a whack of damage,” Pittman said.

Court heard that Majchrzak had been in a relationship with the shop’s owner but the relationship had gone sour.

The 40-year-old had recently been evicted and lost her job, Pittman said.

“It seems to be a woman who has not been able to deal with the stresses of life that have been piled on her all at once,” Pittman said.

Judge Bruce Garriock granted Majchrzak bail on the condition that she avoid contact with her former boyfriend and not go within a block of the business or his residence.

An Edmonton woman who carved a high-speed path of destruction along St. Albert Trail received $2,000 in fines in provincial court last Monday.

Edna Reni Keshane was arrested after a hit and run incident on the trail July 7.

Witnesses reported that a minivan had been travelling north on the trail at speeds around 120 to 130 km/h. The van reportedly struck one vehicle on the passenger door but kept going before hitting another vehicle.

The van eventually pulled off at Riverside Square. While two passengers took off on foot, one witness pulled his vehicle behind the minivan so it couldn’t leave, court heard.

Keshane pleaded guilty to one charge of impaired driving and one charge of failing to remain at an accident scene.

Judge Bruce Garriock said it was only through luck that there were no injuries from the incident. He fined Keshane $1,500 for her impaired conviction and $500 for failing to remain.

Keshane is also suspended from driving for one year.

A man who decided to drive home from a local watering hole rather than take a cab will have to pay $7,750 in fines after pleading guilty to impaired driving and driving without insurance.

The incident happened July 28, 2009 after a report from the Foxx Den in Campbell Business Park. Police received a call after a patron refused to take a cab and left in his own vehicle. They stopped William Chichka, 50, near his home.

Chichka pleaded guilty to impaired driving and driving without insurance. He has two prior convictions for impaired driving and a more recent insurance violation.

Driving without insurance will cost him $5,000 plus a $750 victim fine surcharge. His impaired driving conviction brought a fine of $2,000. He’s also suspended from driving for one year.

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