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RSS FeedsInside the offshore tax scheme that left iconic Olympian Donovan Bailey owing nearly $2.3 million in unpaid taxes
(The Star Travel)


12 june 2018 05:40:51

Inside the offshore tax scheme that left iconic Olympian Donovan Bailey owing nearly $2.3 million in unpaid taxes
(The Star Travel)

Donovan Bailey gave the charity $3.75 million assured that one day a good chunk of the money would end up back in his pocket.It was part of a tax plan the Olympic gold medalist used to protect the sponsorship fees and prize money he had built up over years of competitive sprinting.The funds had been shielded from taxes in an athletic trust, but once retired Bailey had to wind down the trust and wanted to minimize the Canada Revenue Agency’s cut of his earnings.According to the tax plan, Bailey’s donation would flow through a complicated web of transactions before the bulk of the money would make its way back to the sprinter, tax free, through an offshore trust.The plan was actually a tax cheat scheme, the government would later find, in which the charitable donation was a masquerade to escape paying taxes.Once the world’s fastest man, Bailey would soon be left destitute.The plan’s architect was Stuart Bollefer, a Bay Street tax lawyer with the firm Aird & Berlis whose corporate bio describes him as “a natural problem solver” who “has the ability to find innovative resolutions to his clients’ tax issues.”Bollefer promoted the tax strategy to other clients, too, including at least one other prominent Olympic athlete, a world-champion skier. The scheme allowed clients to shuttle millions of dollars to offshore trusts using a colourful cast of characters, including a Bahamas-based businessman later accused of stealing $20 million, and his former partner, who was shot in the head outside his Nassau office.The Canadian government went after Bailey and other Bollefer clients for unpaid taxes, threatening some with the possibility of criminal prosecution.By 2017, Bailey owed nearly $2.3 million to the CRA, according to records filed as part of his formal proposal to settle outstanding debt under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.“He was wronged. He was put into something if he’d received proper advice ...
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