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Tony Accurso, former Quebec construction magnate, loses appeal and heading to prison

Businessman Tony Accurso arrives at the courthouse for sentencing in Laval, Que., Thursday, July 5, 2018. Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

Quebec’s highest court has upheld a sentence delivered to ex-construction magnate Tony Accurso, who is to report to prison before June 1.

Accurso received a four-year prison term in 2018 in connection with what a Quebec court judge called one of the worst examples of municipal corruption to come before a Canadian court.

A jury convicted Accurso on five fraud-related charges tied to a kickback scheme that saw companies receive lucrative public contracts in exchange for bribes to elected officials, including Gilles Vaillancourt, former mayor of Laval, Que., a Montreal suburb.

Read more: Fraud charges against Tony Accurso stayed by Crown after 9 years

But Accurso appealed that decision and after serving one week in prison, was released pending the results of the case.

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Quebec’s Court of Appeal deliberated on the case for just over a year and on Thursday ordered Accurso to report to prison authorities before June 1.

The kickback and fraud scheme lasted between 1996 and 2010 and was run by Vaillancourt, who pleaded guilty to fraud-related charges and received a six-year sentence.

In October 2020, Accurso and several companies tied to him were ordered to pay a total of $4.2 million after pleading guilty to tax fraud. Accurso was ordered to pay $2 million of that amount.

Click to play video: 'Former Laval mayor Gilles Vaillancourt sentenced' Former Laval mayor Gilles Vaillancourt sentenced
Former Laval mayor Gilles Vaillancourt sentenced – Dec 16, 2016

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