Posted on | December 7, 2010 | No Comments
If you’ve been following the local news, you probably know by now that two companies owned and managed by Tony Accurso registered a guilty plea to charges of fiscal fraud this morning. Using false bills in order to lower their net income, the two companies evaded the tidy little sum of 4.1 million dollars. The fine is heavy: 8.2 million dollars, twice the amount of the original fraud.
But this judgement could have more important consequences. The Régie du Bâtiment, Quebec’s construction board, can revoke the license of companies condemned for such gestures. An overview of the decisions made by the Régie is interesting: licenses are revoked for various crimes committed by entrepreneurs. One of them could cast some light on the present case: following a false billing scheme, a numbered company, 9153-3190 evaded slightly over 50.ooo $ in sales tax from the Quebec government. Consequently its license was revoked, automatically preventing the company from bidding on public contracts.
We’re talking here of 4,1 million dollars. Logically the license should be revoked in this case as well. However, this license covers eight companies belonging to Tony Accurso, which have won hundreds of millions of dollars worth of contract in the past years. Knowing how popular Mr. Accurso’s yacht is and the quality of his guests, we can guess at the kind of backroom dealing which is going on in the Régie as we speak. Few people would like to trade places with CEO Michel Beaudoin.
The Liberal Party, who benefited from Mr. Accurso’s generosity but who is not in a position to survive another scandal, is stuck between a rock and a hard place. One way or another, the Régie’s decision is going to make waves. It remains to be seen whether the undertow will sink the guilty companies or not.