June 5, 2014 10:59 am

Ex-Quebec Liberal minister Tony Tomassi pleads guilty to illegal credit card use

QUEBEC – A former Quebec Liberal cabinet minister has pleaded guilty in a case involving illegal use of a credit card.

Tony Tomassi is hoping to avoid jail time when he’s sentenced later this morning.

Tomassi pleaded guilty in a Quebec City courtroom to a charge of receiving a material benefit from a third party, while two other charges of fraud and breach of trust were stayed.

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The Crown and defence have made a joint suggestion that would see Tomassi avoid jail time, serve 240 hours of community service over 18 months and reimburse $11,750.

Both sides agreed that the 43-year-old Tomassi, who has no previous criminal record, has already had to deal with the stigma of public opinion.

The ex-family minister was forced out of the Liberal caucus in 2010 after reports surfaced he had been using a credit card provided by a company that received millions in government grants.

Tomassi resigned his seat in the Montreal-area riding of LaFontaine in May 2012. He’d held it for nine years.

He was expected to go to trial this week, but his lawyer had said previously that Tomassi would plead guilty instead.

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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