July 15 2016
An investigation by Canada Revenue Agency into Metro Vancouver’s soaring real estate market is expected to bring under scrutiny people whose lavish lifestyles and expensive homes don’t appear to be in line with their incomes. The CRA’s plan, described in a briefing document leaked to The Globe and Mail, indicates that one key area of investigation will be “lifestyle audits.”
Christine Duhaime, a Vancouver lawyer who specializes in financial crime and anti-money laundering law, said that means the CRA is going to take a close look at individuals who seem to be living far beyond their means. So it’s how come you are rich and famous in Vancouver – but you have no job? How is that possible? So that’s what money-laundering people look for – this out-of-whack spending pattern,” she said in an interview on Friday. Ms. Duhaime said money launderers often follow similar patterns when it comes to spending big: They all want the same excessive symbols of wealth.