Thirteen people plead guilty in municipal fraud scheme in Laval
LAVAL, Que. — Thirteen people have pleaded guilty in a fraud scheme involving the awarding of municipal contracts in the Montreal-area community of Laval.
The eight businessmen and five engineers entered the guilty pleas in court Tuesday. Sentencing arguments are also taking place, with the defence and Crown recommending 12 months to two years less a day, to be served in the community, for most of the accused.
Initially, 37 people were charged in 2013, including Gilles Vaillancourt, who served as Laval mayor for 23 straight years until he quit politics in the fall of 2012. Vaillancourt eventually pleaded guilty to fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud and breach of trust. He also agreed to reimburse $8.5 million and was sentenced to about six years in prison. Some of the 37 accused have since died, while others have had their charges dropped because of the length of time it was taking for their cases to get to trial.