Que. building firm boss fined $1.2M for tax fraud
Invoices sent by company were fake
Last Updated: Tuesday, February 8, 2011 | 5:01 PM ET
A Laval businessman linked to an ongoing tax evasion case involving Quebec's construction industry has agreed to pay more than $1.2 million in fines, after pleading guilty in court.
Francesco Bruno, owner of B.T. Ceramiques, pleaded guilty to eight counts of tax evasion at a Tuesday hearing in Montreal.
Francesco Bruno has been fined $1.2 million after pleading guilty to tax evasion. (Radio-Canada)Bruno's case is one of several that have surfaced in recent years, as Canada Revenue Agency authorities continue to probe Quebec's construction industry amid corruption allegations involving companies, municipal politicians and the Mafia.
The Laval entrepreneur has admitted he used a numbered company to supply fake invoices between 2004 and 2008 to a pair of companies — Simard-Beaudry and Construction Louisbourg — once run by Montreal construction magnate Tony Accurso.
"There were no services furnished for these invoices," said prosecutor François Lanthier.
The fake invoices, totalling about $2 million, allowed both companies to reduce revenues and lower federal taxes by at least $442,000.
In a separate case heard in court last December, Simard-Beaudry and Construction Louisbourg pleaded guilty to evading taxes, and were fined $4.1 million for tax fraud.
Accurso was removed as an administrator of both companies prior to the December hearing. He was not charged in connection with the Canada Revenue Agency probe.
At least two Canada Revenue Agency employees have been fired in the aftermath of the investigation into Bruno and his company.
Two Montreal businessmen are still awaiting trial on related tax evasion and fraud charges.
Charges laid against Bruno's wife have been withdrawn.
Latest Montreal News Headlines
- NDP MP Tyrone Benskin 'truly sorry' for not paying taxes
- NDP MP Tyrone Benskin has apologized for not paying his taxes and promises to pay back everything he owes, but has lost his deputy critic duties as a result of the news. more »
- Dachshunds strut their stuff as UN bosses
- CBC Montreal checked out a dress rehearsal Thursday for Dachshund UN, a Festival TransAmériques show featuring dozens of dogs impersonating members of the United Nations. more »
- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford denies using crack cocaine
- The mayor of Canada's largest city told a packed news conference that he doesn't use crack cocaine and isn't a crack addict. more »
- Pierre's picks: 5 don't-miss events in Montreal this weekend
- Half Moon Run on the Lachine Canal, a collection of wiener dogs posing as UN reps, One Man Festival, bilingual comics switch mother tongues in the So You Think You're Bilingual show and Free Museums Day. more »
Top News Headlines
- Washington police blame bridge collapse on Alberta trucker
- Washington State police say an Alberta trucker was responsible for hitting a steel beam precipitating a bridge collapse on one of the busiest routes in the American northwest. more »
- Royal Bank pledges not to outsource jobs for cash savings
- Royal Bank has promised it will never outsource a Canadian job to a foreign worker solely to save money. more »
- Canada ranks 3rd last in paid vacations
- Canada ranks third last among economically advanced countries in the amount of paid vacation time it guarantees its workers, a new U.S. study indicates. more »
- Group calls for probe of Tory database used in election robocalls
- The Council of Canadians is calling on the Conservative Party to make a list of everyone who had access to its electoral database during the last federal election and turn the information over to the RCMP and the commissioner of elections. "Anything less at this point would be a coverup," the council said in a press release Friday. more »
- Montreal lifts boil-water advisory
- PQ wants to force federally regulated firms to abide by French language charter
- Lobbying saved Montreal's UN aviation agency, Paradis says
- Alleged sexual predator's victims sought by Montreal police
- 28 students strip-searched at St-Jérôme high school
- Former premier among growing list of politicians offered cash in Laval
- Relaunch of Highway 19 extension to be announced today
- 1.3 million Montrealers face boil water advisory
- Laval police seize drugs, assault weapon