The Canada Revenue Agency has laid charges of more than $4 million in tax evasion against two Quebec construction firms associated with Montreal businessman Tony Accurso.
The criminal charges stem from a long investigation by the federal agency. It alleges Constructions Louisburg and Simard-Beaudry Construction Inc. have claimed non-deductible expenses worth $19 million over a five-year period from 2003 to 2008.
Authorities launched an investigation in April 2009 with a series of raids, which eventually led to the charges.
Accurso is not accused or charged in connection with the probe. Up until last Thursday, the businessman was listed as an administrator of both companies.
A court hearing is scheduled for Tuesday. The companies involved could have to pay the outstanding taxes in question, plus fines, for a maximum of $8 million.
Accurso was in the news last year when one of his companies — Simard-Beaudry — was part of a consortium that got a controversial $355-million contract from the City of Montreal to install water meters. The contract was later cancelled.
Simard-Beaudry is also one of the members of the consortium currently building the McGill University superhospital.
Many prominent public figures were said to have vacationed on Accurso's yacht — among them former Montreal executive committee president Frank Zampino.