Former Quebec construction boss free on bail awaiting appeal before Supreme Court

Tony Accurso is shown in this file photo. Ryan Remiorz / The Canadian Press

A Quebec Court of Appeal judge is allowing ex-construction boss Tony Accurso to remain free on bail while he appeals his fraud conviction to the Supreme Court of Canada.

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.

His conviction was upheld by the Court of Appeal last month, and he was ordered to report to prison by June 1.

However, Court of Appeal Justice Manon Savard concluded it would not harm public trust in the justice system if Accurso stayed free during his appeal to the high court.

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

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Accurso would be eligible for release after serving one-sixth of this sentence – eight months – which she says would likely occur before the Supreme Court hears his case.

Accurso must pay $125,000 bail, two other people will pay $50,000 on his behalf and he is not permitted to leave Quebec.

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, the former mayor of Laval, Que.

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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 a separate case 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.

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