Former AAFC research scientist in Swift Current pleads guilty to tax evasion

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A former Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada research scientist known for his cropping systems research and extension work has been sentenced for tax evasion stemming from unreported payments from a university in China and a pasta company in the U.S.

Dr. Yantai Gan, who worked at AAFC Swift Current from 2012 to 2017, was sentenced on May 3, 2023 in the Provincial Court of Saskatchewan, at Swift Current, after pleading guilty to a single count of wilfully evading, or attempting to evade, paying tax by understating his income on personal tax returns from 2012 to 2017.

The Canada Revenue Agency says Gan received $300,971 from an educational institution in China and a pasta producer in the U.S., which he did not report. According to court documents, Gansu allegedly received payments from Gansu Agricultural University and Barilla America, while his employment contract with the federal agriculture department did not allow him to provide his services as an agriculture scientist to others for payment.

The CRA says Gan also failed to report rental income on a property in Kelowna, B.C.

As part of the sentencing, Gan was handed a fine of $86,362.

He was originally arrested in November 2019 following a nearly two year investigation by the RCMP’s National Security Enforcement Section. Gan was accused of fraud and breach of trust, but those charges were stayed in January 2023 when a Saskatchewan’ Court of King’s Bench judge ruled the prosecution had exceeded a reasonable amount of time between charges being laid and the start of the trial.

Gan was well-known for his work on diversifying crop rotations and exploring alternative crops with AAFC in Swift Current, and was a regular presenter at farm meetings and in agricultural media.

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