There will unfortunately be no reasons for judgment for Siggelkow's tax evasion conviction because he had a trial by jury. When trial is by judge alone the judge generally writes a reasons for judgment explaining the basis of his decision. I've analyzed any number of these on Quatloos. However when it is a jury trial you get a guilty or not guilty and that's it. Jury's don't give reasons.
However I do have a couple of pre-trial decisions that are worth a look. Be advised, this is a long posting. I just got caught up in one man's struggle for justice in an uncaring system.
First a futile 2011 attempt to get the charges either dismissed or stayed on a number of arguments, all hopeless.
http://www.mediafire.com/view/8rdno529m ... %20101.pdf
I can't cut and paste from this, possibly the quirks of the PDF, so I'll paraphrase. His first beef was that the Crown had engaged in abuse of process, claiming that the Crown was using a criminal process to collect a civil debt. It was his argument that the CRA had agreed that this was nothing but a normal civil tax matter best dealt with at the Tax Court but then treacherously charged him with income tax evasion. I other words typical prosecution overreach, using the powers of the state to attack a citizen over a minor everyday tax dispute. Unfortunately his evidence supporting this fell somewhat short of what the court required.
It all goes back to the search under a warrant, the issue that provides the overall theme for most of this reasons for judgement. The Siggelkow family wasn't home when the CRA searched his house so they left a letter telling him that his tax affairs were "the subject of a criminal investigation that may result in charges being laid for non-compliance with the Income Tax Act . . . and if willful or fraudulent discrepancies were found charges may be laid against you". It ended "be advised that there exists an option of early resolution of the criminal case. If you wish to pursue an early resolution of this matter, please contact the investigator."
Siggie replied demanding that the CRA give anything back because the search warrant was "ineffective". He also said he was in favour of an early resolution whether or not there was a criminal case and asked for elaboration. The CRA responded with a letter basically saying that if he was willing to plead guilty to income tax evasion without requiring a trial or the involvement of the Crown prosecutor the CRA was open to an early resolution. Essentially a broad hint that if he plead guilty they'd go easier on him than they would if he forced a trial.
Siggelkow said in an affidavit that "I took Mr. Harris' statement to mean that that I was facing criminal charges but, that these charges would be dropped if I engaged in a "compromise" with the Canada Revenue Agency in regard to the alleged civil tax debt." I other words he claimed that he understood the letter to mean that the CRA admitted that this was just a civil tax matter, not criminal, and the threat of criminal proceedings was just the CRA's way of opening negotiations to force him to pay the taxes that the CRA claimed he owed. A novel way of interpreting plain English.
Judge wasn't buying it saying that this interpretation wasn't supported by even a cursory glance at the CRA letter. There was no reference to any "alleged civil tax debt" nor was there any hint that laying criminal charges was contingent on some mutual agreement regarding Sigglekow's outstanding taxes.
Judge also noted that, after receiving the CRA letter Siggelkow responded with a letter asking what facts he would have to plead to and what would be the Crown's sentencing recommendations. No hint of any civil tax matter.
On July 4th 2011 the CRA wrote Siggelkow with a calculation of the amount of the taxes they claimed he evaded and gave him 30 days to provide any additional information he might have in respect to these taxes. The CRA also said;
"In addition we will be referring this case to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada for prosecution action. The details will be mailed to you at a later date under separate cover."
So, pretty simple on the face of it. Here is the amount of the taxes we determined that you evaded, we want you to pay them but, in addition, we are planning to prosecute you for income tax evasion. Not how Siggelkow claimed he read it however. In his affidavit he took that to mean that the CRA had made him an offer that if he were to pay the claimed civil tax liability prosecution action would cease.
Judge said there was nothing in the July 4th letter that could in any way be interpreted the way Sigglekow wanted it read. Judge thought it significant that in his response to the July 4th letter Siggelkow challenged the proposed tax adjustments on the basis of his natural person-artificial person argument. The judge also considered it very significant that, in this response, Siggelkow wrote;
"I have not violated any law nor did the taxpayer omit from the returns any taxable income"
In other words, screw your imaginary offer.
 On that assertion the accused made it clear that he owed no taxes nor would he be paying any alleged outstanding taxes. That would also offer, of course, a complete answer to any criminal complaint made against him.
The judge seemed to be somewhat skeptical that Siggie really believed what he claimed in his affidavit;
 But in that response he did offer to "conditionally" accept the Crown's offer. But his conditions do not appear sincere as they include demands that the Crown agree that various provisions of the income tax statutes do not say what the enactments specifically state; that certain reported cases do not say what they do in fact say; and that the Crown essentially adopt the natural person-artificial person dichotomy that is part of the Paradigm view of the tax cases; etc, etc.
Sigglekow was essentially saying that he was willing to compromise to the extent that he'd let the Crown agree that he and Porisky were completely right and that the Crown was entirely wrong and had no case against him. A hard negotiator! This generated more harsh words from the judge;
 The accused appears to have come to his "interpretation" rather recently, notwithstanding that in his written submissions to the Court he implies that he took certain "meanings" at the time that he received the correspondence.
 It might be suggested that the accused is not really sincere in his claim of an abuse of process that his tax liabilities are being collected through the use of the criminal process.
 but it is not necessary for the Court to have to come to a firm conclusion, one way or the other, on such a suggestion.
I've dwelled on this point in more detail than necessary but I enjoy dealing with accusations that my old employer, the CRA, resorts to lies and deceit when dealing with taxpayers. We got these claims all the time but, like Siggelkow's, they tend to be short of evidence apart from totally self-serving unsupported statements.
On to the next stupid demand. He asked for the disclosure of clearly irrelevant material. All CRA investigator training courses, a print out of all the time sheets for everyone working on his case, some Porisky related CRA Power Point presentation, CRA Policy manuals. Judge just said all irrelevant and dismissed the disclosure application.
Fine, Be that way, I'll just try something else. The next thing he threw against the wall was a bunch of complaints about the search warrants used to invade his house and steal his stuff. I used the plural "warrants" because, in addition to the warrant specifically allowing the search of his house, he challenged the warrant used to search Russell Porisky's house well before Sigglekow himself was a suspect. I really haven't given too much thought to this part of the application but it seems that Siggelkow was very concerned about a mass of emails extracted from both his, and Porisky's, computers and wanted the information extracted from the two computers excluded from the Crown's evidence.
Judge said Siggelkow misunderstood the law. The emails both sent and received by Porisky were specifically authorized by the search warrant and, while the search was authorized to gather evidence against Porisky, it could also be used as evidence against Siggelkow. Porisky's evidence was all validly obtained under s. 489(1) of the Criminal Code.
The next argument, while again clearly wrong, is at least marginally novel. Siggelkow asserted that the seizure of "hundreds of electronic communications" between himself and Porisky were, in effect, an interception of private communications and it was therefore improper for the CRA to have utilized s. 487 search warrants, they should have used a Part VI Criminal Code wiretap order.
The obvious problem with this is what "interception" means when applied to communications. The common usage is;
"to stop and take someone or something that is going from one place to another place before that person or thing gets there."
The Court said that wiretap orders target the interception of future and prospective communications. The emails in question weren't future or prospective communications, they were historic documents stored in the computers. So a wiretap authorization wasn't required.
Next up, the complaint that the search warrant was improperly signed and issued by the Provincial Court Judge because he neglected to fill in the time of day that the warrant was to be executed. True enough except that the CRA official in charge of the search spotted this and advised the judge who told him to fill in whatever time he required so the form was actually properly filled out.
Siggelkow argued that this carelessness on the part of the judge could support at least an inference that the judge was equally careless in reviewing the material the CRA had submitted to support their request for a warrant and the judge may not have given due consideration to the contents of the CRA's request.
Applications Judge didn't sugar-coat his conclusions to that comment;
 That is, in my view, nothing more than a complaint about technical difficulties dressed up as idle conjecture.
 The deficiencies are of little moment. See R v Herbert, 2002 OJ No. 3307 (C.A).
So next in Siggie's massive arsenal of WMD's was a whine that the Crown had obtained the warrant under s. 487 of the Criminal Code when there were perfectly adequate provisions for obtaining warrants under the Income Tax Act. This somehow violated his rights under s. 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedom which states, in it's entirety "Everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure.
This is an issue that has been beaten to death in court over and over and over, and yet these morons still waste court time bringing it up. I guess since they are on trial for tax evasion they figure they're not paying for it. The rule is that the Crown can apply for a search warrant under either
the Criminal code or
the Income Tax Act. They are both valid and it's the Crown's choice which it utilizes. The courts have confirmed this in numerous decisions that it is entirely at the discretion of the Crown which route they take in applying for a warrant in respect to tax evasion.
However Sigglekow managed to grab a scrap from a previous decision that seemed to support his argument;
 He points to the decision in White, Ottenheimer & Baker v A.G. of Canada 2000 NFCA 36 where, faced with an identical complaint, the Court stated at paragraph 14:
There would appear to be no apparent reason why Revenue Canada should not have recourse to the Income Tax Act rather than the Criminal Code to deal with search and seizure situations.
However the judge pointed out that Siggelkow was being a bit disingenuous by being carefully selective on what he extracted from that decision;
 The accused chose not to quote from the two sentences immediately following:
For whatever reason, here it did not. That in itself I do not see as fatal ...
 It is no surprise that the recourse to s, 487 search warrants is not improper. The Supreme Court of Canada had previously ruled that it was entirely proper to do so . . .
The judge then cruelly cited R v Porisky 2012 BCSC 68 where Porisky had raised exactly the same argument in respect to exactly the same computer records seizure and failed.
There were a few more desultory arguments from Siggelkow re the searches but his heart wasn't really in them, all dismissed. So he fired the two last rounds in the chamber.
First an argument that the Provincial Court of Alberta had no jurisdiction to hear the case because it was just a civil income tax matter which lay within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Tax Court of Canada. The judge dismissed this point with harsh efficiency. He said that the accused claimed that his activities were "non-commercial" in nature and that this resulted in him having no taxable income and therefore there were no grounds for being criminally charged with tax evasion. The judge noted that this was the same argument found in cases set out in the Crown's material, some involving Paradigm adherents. All these prior arguments were dismissed and, in the judge's opinion, properly so. At best Siggelkow's argument that he was not taxable might serve as a basis for his defense but had nothing to do with the court's jurisdiction.
Last up was a request for a stay of proceedings because of unreasonable trial delay. Judge said that much of the delay was Sigglekow's own fault because of screw-ups (paraphrasing) he made due to his self-represented status, he wasted a lot of time making motions at the wrong procedural step, things like that. Siggelkow, the perpetual victim, blamed the Crown and Court for that because they didn't advise him of the proper way to do things. Well, tough. Not the Crown' job or the Court's to spoon feed a guy who chooses to represent himself.
With this set of applications dismissed Siggelkow had shot his wad. He'd argued everything he could to stop from being tried on the actual merits of the case but he was now faced with that dread eventuality. Except for one little preliminary issue to do with his demands for government money to fund his defense, you know, money from the same government that he was actively defrauding. The second document is a June 20, 2014 pre-trial motion on Sigglekow's request for a legal aid lawyer. This one gives an interesting perspective on his home life.
http://www.mediafire.com/view/e5ncerca7 ... QB_368.pdf
The issue considered under the motion was;
 On April 28, 2014 the accused filed a Notice of Motion seeking a court order compelling the Federal Crown to fund the cost of a lawyer to defend the accused on a number of tax evasion and related charges at his four week jury trial scheduled to commence on September 8, 2014 in Grande Prairie, Alberta.
So why did he want the Crown to pay for his legal help? As a personal comment keep in mind the thing that pisses me off most about these clowns is how they refuse to acknowledge they have any responsibility to pay income tax to help fund the functions of their federal and provincial governments and, in fact, engage in criminally tax evasion to avoid paying anything. However they have no compunction whatever about demanding their full entitlement to the range of benefits that these governments offer. Entitlements funded through the taxes paid by people like me. It's nothing but brazen hypocrisy from worthless parasites. Sorry, ranting again, where was I? Right. So why did he want the Crown to pay for his legal help?
 Under oath the accused testified that he did not work and has not worked for some time. He and his wife agreed he would be a “stay at home dad” and home school their daughter while his wife worked outside the home.
 Thus the household income was only earned by the accused’s wife.
 The accused testified that his wife’s yearly income was approximately $70,000 per year in both 2013 and 2012.
 The accused ceased to home school his daughter and she returned to traditional schooling in September 2013.
 The accused is 62 years old and prior to his involvement in the Paradigm Educational Group earned his living as a truck driver.
 When asked why he was not working, at least since September 2013, the accused could not provide a compelling explanation. He claimed that these court proceedings are so overwhelming and distracting for him that he fears he could not concentrate enough to do any type of job. He also advised that he spends many hours each day and week working on his case. He is a constant attendee at the law library of the court house as he continues his legal research.
 On the other hand, the accused filed his written “Overview of Defence Position” on February 28, 2014 and advised therein that any future pretrial applications scheduling had to take into account that he was unavailable in July and August 2014, notwithstanding his trial will commence in September 2014. The reason for his unavailability was not provided. But it can safely be concluded that it is not to work.
I think I can answer that one. July and August are school summer holidays so he probably took care of the kid while his wife actually did something useful to support the family. However she was apparently not willing to support him in his quest to keep out of jail;
 The accused deposes that his wife is not able nor willing to assist the accused in helping to pay for counsel. The accused claims his wife regularly sends money back to the Philippines to assist her family there. He could not explain why she wouldn’t demonstrate the same type of familial altruism for her husband who, if convicted of these charges, faces a potential federal penitentiary sentence, which will separate him from her and their daughter.
 In his evidence before me, he testified that he was actually “reluctant” to ask his wife for money for his defence. He said that if he is convicted and goes to jail then she would be saddled with the legal debt and no way to pay it all off.
Sigglekow said he needed a lawyer to mount a Rowbotham application. To explain; a "Rowbotham/Fisher Application" is an application to the court by the accused in a criminal proceedings for Charter relief, usually a stay of proceedings, on the basis that the accused is unable to retain counsel and counsel is essential for a fair trial. Generally a Rowbotham is made when the accused claims he cannot afford counsel but is not qualified for legal aid. So, as I understand it, he needed to hire a lawyer to get his case tossed on the basis that he could not hire a lawyer. I get baffled by these legal complexities.
The lawyers he had contacted to possibly act for him in this application were a hard lot and not sympathetic to a man struggling to fight the injustice of being required to pay his fair share;
 Only one reply was received. It was from a lawyer at Felesky Flynn on April 24, 2014, who wrote: “We are very good at tax evasion defence work but we are very expensive. If you require government funding for a defence through a Rowbothum[sic]/Fisher application then we are not the firm for you. Best of luck.”
Harsh, but an essential truth. Then the court mentioned a pile of Poriskyite cases coming up. More work for me!
 The assistance the accused has received in preparing any of his submissions is two-fold. First, there are irregular but ongoing discussions held with eight other accused who are also associated with Paradigm, and who, like the accused, are also facing their own tax evasion charges. These discussions are aimed at everyone sharing their research and ideas on how to defend against these charges. All but one are self-represented.
However the court considers one of his problems to be his own damn fault;
(iv) Seriousness of the Offences, Complexity and Length of Trial
 These are serious charges and, if convicted, the Crown will be seeking a penitentiary sentence. The accused is 62 years old and presumably has never been in jail before. Thus, by any measure, these are serious charges and very serious for the accused and his family.
 The length of the trial is misleading. Because the accused will not admit continuity of seizures, a number of witnesses must be called to deal with that point. The Crown is not calling any expert witnesses. The vast majority of the documents were seized from the accused or the head of his Paradigm group. The accused is quite familiar with all those documents, it would appear.
He said he wasn't capable of handling his own defense and gave an example;
 The accused in his written and oral submissions points to one example where his alleged deficiency in courtroom skills was identified by the Crown prosecutor. In the December 9, 2013 hearing on the pretrial applications, the prosecutor had alleged that the accused had not properly put evidence on the record. The accused submitted that his ignorance on how to even enter evidence properly was an excellent example of his deficiency in basic skills.
But unfortunately that example blew up in his face;
 But, a review of the December 9, 2013 transcript reveals that the court not only challenged the Crown’s complaint but concluded that she was wrong. Thus the upshot is that the lawyer was wrong; the non-lawyer accused got it right.
Siggelkow then gave a glimpse of his soon to be rejected defense. Tax law is just too darn complicated for the average Joe to avoid inadvertently getting caught up in income tax evasion! It could happen to any of us.
 There is really very little complexity about this case. Based upon witnesses who were former students of the accused, evidence will be called, I’m advised, showing the receipt of significant amounts of money by the accused from Paradigm students and which was deposited by him in his bank account. The Crown’s view is that this was essentially an operation or enterprise where money was earned that was taxable and no taxes were paid.
 The accused’s position is, as I understand it, that none of this money was taxable and hence no taxes were paid.
 Each side relies on their interpretation of the tax statutes.
 As a fallback position, the accused asserts that if he is wrong in his understanding of the law, his mistake of law is excusable upon the application of R v Klundert (2004) 187 CCC (3d) 417 (O.C.A.) at para 55.
Paragraph 55 of Klundert says;
 Section 239(1)(d) is part of an Act which is necessarily and notoriously complex. It is subject to ongoing revision. No lay person is expected to know all the complexities of the tax laws. It is accepted that people will act on the advice of professionals and that the advice will often turn on the meanings to be given to provisions in the Act that are open to various interpretations. Furthermore, it is accepted that one may legitimately structure one’s affairs so as to minimize tax liability. Considered in this legislative context, I have no difficulty in holding that a mistake or ignorance as to one’s liability to pay tax under the Act may negate the fault requirement in the provision, regardless of whether it is a factual mistake, a legal mistake, or a combination of both.
Unfortunately a deeper reading of Klundert, rather than just considering this paragraph in isolation, points to a problem the courts have with people like Sigglekow claiming ignorance as a defense;
 There are solid policy reasons for drawing a distinction between an accused who mistakenly believes that he or she is complying with the Act and an accused who knowingly violates the Act, but mistakenly believes that the Act is invalid. The former is trying to comply with the law. Particularly where the law is complex, a mistake concerning the applicable law can logically negate the blameworthiness of the person’s conduct. The latter is not trying to obey the law, but is instead deciding which laws should be obeyed. An acquittal based on a mistaken belief as to the validity of a law would undermine the rule of law.
 There can be no suggestion that a person who honestly believes that the Act is invalid has no option but to evade the payment of taxes and then defend a charge of tax evasion on the basis of a belief that the Act is invalid. As Dr. Klundert acknowledged, there were mechanisms in place whereby he could have challenged the validity of the Act without evading payment of taxes owed under the Act. He chose not to pursue any of those avenues. Indeed, even in this case, he did not defend the charge, as he clearly could have, by asking the judge to declare s. 239(1)(d) invalid.
Then the judge started on about Siggelkow's personal life;
 There is no evidence that the accused has arranged with his wife to set aside one nickel to hire a lawyer. There is no evidence of a loan being taken out against the equity in the matrimonial home. There was no thought to ask his adult son for a loan.
 I am satisfied that the accused would have been able to fund the cost of counsel had he chosen to work. I find that he was not and is not debilitated such that he is unable to drive truck – his previous vocation.
 I am not satisfied that he has pursued the issue of having his wife financially contribute to his defence with any degree of reasonable and expected vigour. His admitted reluctance to do so probably explains this lack of diligence. But, as with the decision not to work, he has voluntarily made his choices and must live with the consequences of exercising his free will.
 I might also observe, parenthetically, that the accused’s wife neither appeared in order to make comment nor provided anything in writing to help explain her alleged unwillingness to help out her husband financially at such a desperate time for him and the family. I find it passing strange that she would wholly ignore him and his financial plight but continue to willingly help out her family who reside in the Philippines.
"Passing strange"? Maybe she just recognized a losing hand. Then the court dropped the hammer;
 From all of the foregoing, I find that the accused has done nothing to financially assist himself to be able to retain counsel after being turned down by Legal Aid almost one and one half years ago for the simple reason that he was never seriously interested in having a lawyer. Let me explain why I find this to be so.
 The Crown’s disclosure includes seizures which refer to other Paradigm adherents being prosecuted and convicted for tax evasion. Critical commentary from persons who appear to be Paradigm adherents question various judicial comment and interpretations of tax law. I am satisfied that those persons who continue to espouse the Paradigm view of tax law know, and for many years have known, that they too run the risk of being charged, prosecuted and convicted of tax offences. All such persons, including the accused, have had ample time to prepare for their day in court and to decide if they will be proceeding with the assistance of counsel. Accordingly, when the accused has made no preparations, let alone real efforts, at putting together any funds for counsel can only suggest one thing – a lack of interest, let alone desire, in having a lawyer.
 I am satisfied that the accused had the ability to pay for counsel had he simply worked as a truck driver – his previous vocation.
 In such circumstances, it makes no sense for the public purse to pay for counsel when the accused has done absolutely nothing to financially help himself.
As you can tell I'm enjoying this immensely and since he has apparently appealed his conviction I've got more guilty pleasures to come. It's all a sad, sad comment on the kind of person that I am. Fortunately I'm comfortable with the knowledge that I'm a heartless bastard.