Gerald O'Reilly, a wealthy businessman living in Beaconsfield, Que., was sentenced to five years in prison on Wednesday after being convicted of playing a leading role in a conspiracy to sell millions of contraband cigarettes.

The 81-year-old man was found guilty on Feb. 24 of two counts of fraud, a conspiracy charge, committing a crime for the profit of a criminal organization and laundering the proceeds of crime.

The defence attorneys refused to talk after court. However, the prosecution told reporters it has been told the defence may file an appeal in the case.

O'Reilly was initially arrested in 2008 along with his wife, Felicitas O'Reilly, at their home on Montreal's West Island. The home was allegedly used as a transfer point for the illegal cigarettes.

Police also arrested a dozen other people in Montreal and Nova Scotia at the time, seizing nearly 21 million illegal cigarettes in large-scale raids across Eastern Canada aimed at a major contraband ring that peddled American tobacco procured through two Mohawk communities. ​

At that time, Revenue Canada estimated that the operation cost at least $6 million in lost tax revenue.