Quebec's former lieutenant-governor, Lise Thibault, arrives at the Quebec City courthouse Monday morning for a preliminary hearing on fraud charges. ((Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press))

The province's former lieutenant-governor, Lise Thibault, is appearing in court in Quebec City on Monday to face fraud and breach of trust charges.

Thibault is accused of spending more than $700,000 in taxpayer money without justification during her 10 years as the Queen's representative in Quebec.

Monday's court appearance will mark the start of a preliminary hearing to determine if there's enough evidence for a trial.

The 71-year-old could face a maximum of 14 years in prison if she goes on trial and is found guilty,

The Quebec government is also suing Thibault for $92,000 to recoup some of the public funds she's accused of unjustifiably spending.

The lawsuit is equivalent to Quebec's share of Thibault's allegedly unjustified expenses.

The criminal charges were authorized in 2009 by a Quebec Court judge, and details of Thibault's hearing Monday are protected by a publication ban.

$1.7M in expenditures analyzed


Lise Thibault, 71, could face a maximum of 14 years in prison. ((Canadian Press))

The six criminal accusations against Thibault, which include fraud, breach of trust and creating forged documents, were the result of scathing reports from the auditor generals of both Quebec and Canada.

Allegations of unjustified expenses came to light in the 2007 reports, when $1.7 million in expenditures made between 1997 and 2007 were analyzed.

The reports found Thibault submitted expenses for private trips and dinners, skiing lessons, and presents for friends and family without providing receipts.

Stories of golf trips and lavish receptions paid by taxpayers also emerged.

More than a year later, Thibault faced a grilling by a parliamentary committee dealing with the allegations.

The former lieutenant-governor remained defiant that her expenses were legitimate, saying she was a victim, a poor old woman being forced to answer such questions.

With files from Salimah Shivji