The payment was made to the late Nicolo Rizzuto in 2007 by the Canada Revenue Agency, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported, citing an investigation by Radio-Canada, the French-language network. Rizzuto was in prison at the time, and Jean-Pierre Paquette, a retired CRA auditor, said when he learned of the check he went to Rizzuto's home and got it back from the mobster's daughter.
The check for $381,737.46 Canadian was marked tax refund at a time when Rizzuto owed $1.5 million in back taxes. Historically, the Canadian dollar has been worth slightly less than the U.S. dollar.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police has been investigating the Montreal office of the CRA since 2008, the CBC said. Paquette, who retired in 2009, said the check to Rizzuto raises more questions about corruption in the office and about how the check managed to get past controls on refunds.
"That name there was all over the headlines after the arrests. I mean, look, we're not talking about Joe Blow here," Paquette told Radio-Canada.
Rizzuto pleaded guilty to tax evasion in 2010 and was ordered to pay a large fine. In November that year he was killed at the age of 86 by someone who fired into his home.