Who is Tony Accurso?
Long-anticipated witness at Charbonneau Commission set to testify
Montreal-born Tony Accurso was once one of the most influential people in the province's construction industry.
His father, Vincenzo, started the family business in the 1950s. By the time his son Tony took over in 1982, Construction Louisbourg Ltd. had 75 employees in Quebec.
Under Tony Accurso's reign, the empire expanded to include 3,500 employees working in about a dozen companies around the world.
When the scandal-plagued Accurso stepped down as president of his various companies in Oct. 2012, he wrote a letter to his employees in which he said that he was proud of the rapid growth of his empire, but "what touched [him] most was that the evolution allowed [him] to rub shoulders with extraordinary people."
It was some of those associations that got the construction entrepreneur in trouble.
He entertained numerous high-ranking municipal officials and union officials on his infamous yacht, the Touch, including the former head of Montreal's executive committee, Frank Zampino, while Accurso's company was in the bidding process for a lucrative public contract.
Accurso is facing a string of criminal charges including fraud, breach of trust, and influence peddling stemming from an investigation into how contracts were awarded in the town of Mascouche.
He's also one of 36 people facing similar charges in Laval.
In December 2010, two of his companies pleaded guilty to tax evasion and were ordered to reimburse $4-million and pay hefty fines.
In June 2013, Revenue Quebec filed 928 charges, including falsifying tax returns and forging invoices, against Accurso, his associates, and four of his companies.