Singla Bros. Holdings Ltd. pleads guilty to 6 of 10 charges in Penticton courtroom | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Singla Bros. Holdings Ltd. pleads guilty to 6 of 10 charges in Penticton courtroom

An application to exclude voir dire evidence was denied in Penticton Supreme Court.
August 20, 2021 - 3:13 PM

Six guilty pleas were entered in a Penticton court room on behalf of Singla Bros. Holding Ltd. today, Aug. 20.

The company was charged on 10 counts under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act of counselling misrepresentation, which is someone who knowingly counsels, induces, aids or abets... any person to directly or indirectly misrepresent or withhold material facts relating to a relevant matter that induces or could induce an error in the administration of this Act is guilty of an offence.”

Canadian Border Services raided the home of Paul Singla in June, 2018. Facts of the case are expected at sentencing.

The lawyer representing Singla Bros. was Ian Donaldson, who entered the guilty pleas over a conference call.

“It’s a peculiar thing doing a guilty plea without the person actually being there,” Judge Shannon Keyes said.

“The thing is it’s a company, your Honour, a company can enter a plea by counsel,” Donaldson said.

Keyes requested a notation to confirm the guilty plea from the company.

“I just don’t want anything to slip through the cracks,” she said.

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Donaldson clarified that his pleas were entered on behalf of the business, and that his client Paul Singla, “the main individual,” is not pleading guilty.

“So I wanted to make it clear, on the record in open court that Mr. Singla, the individual, has not pleaded guilty, does not intend to plead guilty and will not be pleading guilty to any of the accounts on the information,” he said.

An error in the court records led other media outlets to believe Singla would be pleading guilty to all 10 counts, but it was only his business pleading guilty to some of the charges.

That gave “A 70-year-old man with no criminal record a lot of anxiety,” Donaldson said.

Sentencing for those six counts will happen in Penticton at Nov. 3.

READ MORE: No charges laid after border agents search Penticton home: lawyer

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