Sean Gordon’s unfulfilled ambition became a trap for millions of Americans. He broke into our government and took his crusade to the highest levels.
Now serving a sentence at NCI Maple Ridge, Gordon will spend the next three to four years there for breaching Canada’s passport laws.
It could be harder to get in to prison in Canada, though. Courts there often give so-called “victim assistance orders” if people who help people evade taxes are charged with those crimes. The scheme would effectively allow people to evade long prison sentences or fines by granting the accused legal protections under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Gordon’s case shows how a branch of the government, the Department of Justice (DOJ), has turned a blind eye to cracking down on tax schemes, often working with schemers, that help our richest citizens avoid paying taxes.
Gordon is a Canadian citizen who passed for a British citizen during the international transactions he helped set up offshore. A British citizen can acquire one without a tax penalty.
“Mr. Gordon spent several months at the DOJ in 2013 examining offshore gaming schemes,” explained Ontario Justice Catherine McCallum in his sentencing judgment.
He was researching high-rolling legal players. As a result, he “began working with entities in the UK for defendants who had been charged or implicated in offshore gaming schemes.”
Gordon pleaded guilty to all charges.
It was the first such case to come before a federal judge since Canada started charging tax evaders in 2009.
“Mr. Gordon had engaged in the foreign bribery of foreign government officials and conspiracy to bribe foreign government officials,” said Justice McCallum. “He had engaged in the structuring of false and fictitious foreign financial transactions” with “the use of falsified bank statements and false references by the bank account holders.”
After the DOJ ultimately agreed to his plea, Gordon was sentenced in May by a judge who cited Canada’s obligations under international treaties.
“There must be a crackdown on people who intentionally assist others evade their tax obligations,” said Alliance Canada of Toronto on Friday.
Gordon’s ordeal illustrates how many others spend decades fighting extradition in multiple countries for the same purpose — to avoid being called to testify about how rich Americans try to avoid paying taxes.
• Stephen Moore is a Fox News contributor and contributor to World News Tonight with David Muir. He’s the president of the Heritage Foundation and author of “Fueling Freedom: Exposing the Mad War on Energy.” You can see his latest column here.