The Canada Revenue Agency announced Wednesday that a Chatham-Kent man was sentenced to 18 months in jail and a fine of $323,402 for tax evasion.

Anthony McPhail was sentenced in the Ontario Court of Justice in Chatham.

On Feb. 9, McPhail pleaded guilty to two counts of evading income tax and four counts of making or participating in the making of false statements in the income tax returns of individuals to obtain or claim unwarranted tax refunds under the Income Tax Act.

The fine represents 100 per cent of the federal income tax evaded, according to the agency.

The CRA says an investigation revealed that McPhail, a tax preparer and proprietor of Valet Vending Services, created a scheme whereby he advised his clients they could make money by buying and reselling chocolates to benefit charities.

No charities benefited from these sales, says the CRA.

McPhail then prepared income tax returns for the 49 participating individuals, claiming fictitious business losses.

The CRA says in total, McPhail prepared 118 tax returns, claiming $3,840,788 in fictitious losses for the 2006 to 2009 taxation years and as a result, $231,599 in income tax was evaded.

The investigation also revealed that McPhail failed to report as income the percentage of the tax refunds he received from his 49 clients. The agency determined that McPhail evaded the payment of $91,803 in federal income taxes.