Russell Anthony Porisky was convicted for a second time in connection with a major income tax evasion scheme, and sentenced to four years in jail and fined $260,000. The BC Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal on April 30. (YouTube)

Russell Anthony Porisky was convicted for a second time in connection with a major income tax evasion scheme, and sentenced to four years in jail and fined $260,000. The BC Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal on April 30. (YouTube)

B.C. man who taught others to evade millions in taxes loses appeal

Russell Porisky of Chilliwack counselled hundreds to dodge a total of $11.5 million in income tax

The B.C. Court of Appeal has dismissed the conviction appeal of a notorious tax cheat who taught a nonsensical scheme encouraging hundreds of people to evade millions of dollars in taxes.

Russell Porisky’s appeal was rejected at a hearing in Vancouver on April 30.

In 2016, the Chilliwack man was sentenced to four years behind bars and handed fines of just under $260,000 for teaching the debunked “natural person” theory. His partner, Elaine Gould, was sentenced to one day in jail and fined $38,242.

When he was first convicted in 2012, court heard Porisky and Gould’s fraudulent counselling to more than 800 students resulted in an estimated $11 million in income tax evasion.

The “natural person” argument behind Porisky’s scheme has been rejected repeatedly by the courts. The idea taught is that income tax is optional as part of a contract with the government.

In YouTube videos still posted online, he claims “income tax is nothing more than an internal federal excise tax which is only mandatory for those who choose to work as a legal representative, under an implied contract of service, for the benefit of a federally created legal (artificial) person known as a ‘taxpayer.’”

His problem, along with that of his acolytes, is that he is simply wrong.

One of those followers, a woman integral to Porisky’s school, Debbie Anderson, was sentenced to four and a half years in prison and fined $35,000 in 2018.

• READ MORE: Chilliwack woman convicted of counselling tax evasion sentenced to 4.5 years jail

Anderson has denied guilt and never admitted the harm she caused by not paying taxes, claiming the whole case against her was a fraud.

She is now wanted by authorities, as she filed to appeal her conviction but did not show up for a hearing on April 17.

Her conviction stands and a warrant was issued for her arrest.

• READ MORE: Warrant issued for infamous Chilliwack tax cheat ‘educator’

As for Porisky, he and Gould’s case has gone on for many years. They had appealed their 2012 conviction, arguing the trial judge erred in his handling of a decision by them to re-elect to be tried by judge alone. In April 2014, the B.C. Court of Appeal quashed the convictions and ordered a new trial. That is the trial that ended in the conviction by a B.C. Supreme Court jury in 2016.

Porisky was found to have failed to pay $274,000 in income taxes and GST, while Gould was $27,000 in arrears.


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Twelve new curbside pickup parking spots are now in effect along 30th Avenue in downtown Vernon. (Downtown Vernon Association photo)
Downtown Vernon curbside pick up parking now in drive

12 locations along 30th Avenue intended to help retail and dining sectors amid COVID-19

Vernon Search and Rescue members assisted a groomer operator on the trails at SilverStar Mountain Resort Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (VSAR photo)
Vernon Search and Rescue helps stranded groomer at Silver Star

Three members responded to the operator whose groomer experienced a mechanical issue Nov. 29

A woman wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 uses walking sticks while walking up a hill, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Interior Health reports 83 more COVID-19 infections overnight

46 cases are now associated with a COVID-19 community cluster in Revelstoke

An Enderby restaurant and pub has been shut down since Sunday afternoon, Nov. 29, 2020 as a precaution after a guest reportedly tested positive for COVID-19. (Howard Johnson photo)
Enderby pub shuts down after guest reportedly tests positive for COVID-19

The Howard Johnson hotel, restaurant and pub has been closed since Sunday afternoon, Nov. 29

Vernon taxpayers can expect a 2.55 per cent increase for 2021. (File photo)
Vernon scales back 2021 tax increase

Pause of infrastructure levy program reduces burden on taxpayers

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

Brent Ross poses with his dog Jack who died over the weekend after asphyxiating on a ball. Ross hopes his experience serves as a cautionary tale to other dog owners. (Contributed)
Salmon Arm man warns others after dog dies from choking on a ball

Brent Ross grieving the sudden loss of Jack, a healthy, seven-year-old chocolate lab

Mayor Colin Basran at the announcement of the 2021 Tim Horton’s Brier to be hosted in Kelowna on Nov. 21. (Contributed)
Tim Hortons Brier not coming to Kelowna

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted Curling Canada to move to hub model, similar to the NHL playoffs

Robert Gibson, born November 24, 2020 is in BC Children’s Hospital. Photo contributed
Princeton baby fights for his life, with parents at his side

A Go Fund Me campaign has been started to help family with expenses

Grapevine Optical was the victim of an early morning break and enter Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2020. (Crime Stoppers Okanagan / Facebook)
Collection of designer sunglasses stolen from South Okanagan eye-wear shop

Crime Stoppers is seeking the identity of two male suspects

By this time next year, the BC Green Pharmadeuticals cannabis growing facility in Princeton is expected to employ at least 150 people, according to the owner. (File photo)
Princeton cannabis plant thriving despite lawsuit and bad press, says owner

Company expects to hire 30 more employees in the next two months

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

Most Read