More than .5 million in fines for daycare-related tax evasion

More than $1.5 million in fines for daycare-related tax evasion

Nine people have been found guilty in a Revenu Québec investigation into childcare-related tax fraud schemes.

• Also read: The union representing Revenu Québec workers will resort to mediation

Revenu Québec on Wednesday took stock of the Bambino project, which began in 2015. A total of nine people were found guilty after this major investigation. These perpetrators were fined a combined total of more than $1.5 million. One of them, Hober Antonio Perez Ballastero, 59 from Quebec, was also sentenced to prison.

“They didn’t connect. They were day care administrators working in different systems in different cities,” said Mylène Gagnon, spokeswoman for Revenu Québec.

These convictions stem from searches conducted on June 10, 2015 as part of the Bambino project. Revenu Québec had deployed more than 90 employees in 22 private homes, including 10 family daycares.

A total of 29 search warrants were executed under the Tax Administration Act in Quebec City, Trois-Rivières, Drummondville and Brossard. Four companies active in the field of childcare were involved in the transaction.

The investigation found that they fraudulently issued false receipts to allow individuals to claim recoverable child care tax credits. At the end of this major investigation, a total of 53 indictments were filed, 39 of which led to conviction in judgments passed between 2017 and 2022.

As a result of that investigation, 25 parents pleaded guilty to 29 counts and were ordered to pay fines totaling $36,000. According to Revenu Québec, Dubis Cecilia Iglesias Alvarez of Québec, one of the parents, faced four charges for claiming tax credits for child care expenses related to multiple daycares owned by Ali Salomon Zakzuk Gavaria and Hober Antonio Perez Ballastero and for a false guardian. She was convicted in the absence of any charges against her.

Some people had connections because they worked together, but Revenu Québec doesn’t see this as a network, any more than there was a mastermind.

“For example, in Drummondville in 2010-2011 there was a daycare at the address listed on the forged receipts given to parents, but the children were never placed there. (…) These were not the children associated with the statements made. In other cases, it was other plans that were complex,” Ms Gagnon explained.

“We wanted to wait until all the files were done before taking stock of this major operation. Obviously, cases of tax fraud are sometimes, and even often, complex files as there is a lot of documentary evidence to be analyzed,” the spokesman added.

Information on the convictions:

  • Mr Hober Antonio Perez Ballastero59 years old, Quebec

April 28, 2022

Sentenced to 90 days of intermittent detention accompanied by 12 months probation and fines totaling $58,190

  • Mr. Arbey Vasquez Bermudez32 years, Drummondville

October 20, 2020

Fines totaling $330,634.76

  • Mr. Alexander Vasquez Bermudez38 years, Drummondville

October 20, 2020

Fines totaling $330,634.76

  • Mr. Cristian Andres Vasquez Castaneda33 years, Drummondville

October 20, 2020

Fines totaling $330,634.76

  • Mr. Yony Fabian Perez Grajales34 years, Drummondville

October 20, 2020

Fines totaling $130,604.13

  • Mrs. Dubis Cecilia Iglesias Alvarez50 years old, Quebec (residence)

October 2, 2019

$6,000 in fines

  • Mr Ali Solomon Zakzuk Gavaria51 years old, Quebec

April 17, 2019
February 15, 2019

Fines totaling $234,204.63 for two convictions, the first in Quebec and the second in Trois-Rivières

  • Mrs Monica Nino Tellez56 years old, Quebec

February 15, 2019

Fines totaling $67,290.63

  • Mrs. Yenni Carolina Collazos34 years old, Trois Rivières

June 22, 2017

$16,000 in fines

Source: Quebec Revenue