Osprey Media Group Inc. - Brantford Expositor: "City man lands in prison for GST fraud
By Cheryl Bauslaugh
Local News - Thursday, May 12, 2005 @ 01:00
A 54-year-old city man who bilked the government out of more than $700,000 in GST rebates was sentenced Wednesday in Superior Court to 30 months in a federal penitentiary.
Adam Stelmaszynski, of Applegate Drive, was also fined $702,646.59 � the same amount the former developer claimed in GST rebates for three failed condominium projects.
Justice Jane Milanetti rejected a bid by federal prosecutor Gerry Smits to have Stelmaszynski spend four years in jail, noting that the maximum sentence for this type of crime is five years.
�Four years would be excessive,� she said.
However, she said the defence counsel�s request for a conditional sentence of two years was also inappropriate, given the �significant� amount of money involved.
�He was leveraging government money in hopes of making his own,� she said.
Stelmaszynski was found guilty last October of two counts of fraud and two counts of attempted fraud, following a 3-1/2 week trial.
From December 1996 to January 1999, Stelmaszynski operated two companies � Alexander Street Lofts Development Corp. Inc. and Dundurn Street Lofts Inc. � with the idea of converting unused warehouse space in Hamilton, Welland and St. Catharines into loft-style apartments and condominiums.
He also set up a dozen sole proprietorships which billed his corporations for $10 million in work. Yet, only one of three projects � Dundurn Lofts � was ever owned by Stelmaszynski and it was not completed, the judge said.
�Mr. Stelmaszynski had developed a"