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Former Pride Society treasurer pleads not guilty to understating 235 clients’ taxes

Von Pfahlenburg-Marienburg will go to trial

A former treasurer of the Vancouver Pride Society has pleaded not guilty to charges of understating his clients’ income taxes and will likely go to trial this fall.

Auguste Christiane von Pfahlenburg-Marienburg made a first court appearance on Jan 14 and returned to court last week. He is facing six counts under the federal Income Tax Act of understating the taxable incomes of 235 clients to a total of almost $782,091.

The trial is expected to last about 12 days. Both the Crown and von Pfahlenburg-Marienburg expect to call witnesses.

At trial, von Pfahlenburg-Marienburg will have to disclose his finances as he is requesting public funding to mount his defence. He has made what’s called a Rowbotham application for financial assistance, which will likely be heard in Vancouver provincial court in March.

People making such an application must have exhausted all legal representation avenues, not have the funds to hire a lawyer, face a serious or complex trial or cannot defend themselves because the case is too complex and he or she does not have the skills given their educational and work background.

Though Von Pfahlenburg-Marienburg is a lawyer, he was suspended from practicing law in 2008 at the order of a BC Supreme Court judge.

The six income tax charges were sworn by a Canada Revenue Agency investigator. See http://www.xtra.ca/public/Vancouver/Former_Pride_Society_treasurer_charged_with_understating_235_clients_taxes-8120.aspx

Outside court Feb 4, von Pfahlenburg-Marienburg declined to comment on the case. “I prefer not to, thank you,” he said.