Gold tax scam alleged in Quebec

Investigators have swooped in on a network of people and companies allegedly involved in a massive gold-refining scam that bilked the Quebec and federal treasuries.

MONTREAL — Investigators have swooped in on a network of people and companies allegedly involved in a massive gold-refining scam that bilked the Quebec and federal treasuries.

Revenue Quebec agents are probing sales of $1.8 billion by the network, with alleged provincial sales-tax evasion in excess of $150 million. The agency is also investigating evasion of the federal GST on the same sales.

Residences, offices, accountants and bankruptcy trustees were slapped with search warrants as more than 175 Revenue Quebec agents staged raids in the Montreal area on Thursday. The revenue agency says the network allegedly used a system of repetitive and false billing in the transactions involving more than 100 companies. It also says false tax returns were prepared for certain companies that provided the fake invoices.