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Von Pfahlenburg-Marienburg pleads guilty

Former Pride treasurer admits tax evasion

Von Pfahlenburg-Marienburg (pictured at a 2007 Pride meeting) faces fines and possible jail time. Credit: Matt Mills photo

A former Vancouver Pride Society treasurer has pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) says.

Auguste Christiane von Pfahlenburg-Marienburg now faces fines and possible jail time, as well as any civil assessments courts may award in future cases, CRA says.

Von Pfahlenburg-Marienburg made his first court appearance on Jan 14 on six charges that he was involved in understating the taxable incomes of 235 clients to a total of almost $782,091.

He pleaded guilty on Nov 30 to one count of evading or attempting to evade taxes on behalf of 18 clients totalling $55,313.23 between 2003 and 2007, CRA spokesperson Bradley Alvarez tells Xtra.

An agreed statement of facts was presented to provincial court as part of the plea, the Robson Square court registry confirms.

“Von Pfahlenburg is alleged to have lied in various people’s tax returns,” senior federal Crown prosecutor Dan Meneley told Judge Jodie Werier on Sept 17.

Von Pfahlenburg-Marienburg had already agreed to a number of admissions in the tax case, which would have shortened a witness list originally set at 26 people.

Those people will no longer need to testify.

A trial was supposed to start on Nov 29 but could not proceed as von Pfahlenburg-Marienburg was in jail for 30 days for breaching a court order.

The breach involved a 2006 court order preventing von Pfahlenburg-Marienburg from representing himself as a lawyer, a member of the Law Society of BC or a practitioner of foreign law.

He was due for release on Dec 2.

Von Pfahlenburg-Marienburg had planned to represent himself at trial, despite suggestions from the court that he obtain counsel. He said he could not afford to do so.

Under the Income Tax Act, anyone found guilty of such tax evasion charges may be subject to a fine of not less than 50 percent, and not more than 200 percent, of the amount of tax sought to be evaded.

He could also face jail time or a combination of the two.

Sentencing will take place on Feb 18.

Von Pfahlenburg-Marienburg served briefly on the Pride Society board as both treasurer and secretary.

He resigned on Apr 10, 2007, citing “weak leadership… a lack of clear constructive vision for the society, the fractured nature of the board and the absence of administrative and procedural governance.”