Chiropractor gets jail time for tax evasion

Published: 2012-02-28 13:26:02
Author: Carol Sanders

 For the first time in recent memory, a Manitoban has been sent to jail for income tax evasion.

Chiropractor Rosalie Chobotar was sentenced to six months in jail plus a $162,513 fine -- the amount she owes the Canada Revenue Agency.

"With all due respect, I do not accept this offer," Chobotar told provincial court Judge Lynn Stannard before being taken into custody. "This offer is not accepted," she said as court officers gathered her purse and jacket and led her away for transfer to the women's jail.

She's not the first income-tax evader found guilty in Manitoba with links to anti-tax crusaders, who say they don't have to pay income tax or recognize the authority of the courts.

She is the first in recent memory to end up in jail, said Kevin Lloyd with the Canada Revenue Agency.

Although Chobotar has no criminal record, the judge said she couldn't impose a conditional sentence on the 53-year-old woman because she wouldn't abide by the conditions.

At the beginning of her sentencing hearing Monday, Chobotar submitted a letter to the court saying "At no point have I ever willingly agreed to legally represent a taxpayer in these proceedings and I certainly have never agreed to do it for free... I charge a standard fee of $10 million to carry out any court order that this court issues."

The judge said it wasn't mental illness, fraud or concealment but "self-centred greed" that led Chobotar to claim she doesn't have to pay income tax.

Chobotar has shown no remorse, the judge said before sending her to jail as a deterrent and a denunciation.

"She has displayed a lack of respect for the court and the risk to reoffend is a concern," Stannard said.

Chobotar, who was representing herself in court, walked out of her trial in October. It continued without her. In November, she didn't show up to hear the verdict when she was found guilty. On that day, she sent Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench Chief Justice Glenn Joyal a package saying "The woman known as Rosalie Chobotar... will not be appearing."