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Lorne McLaren was one of the key figures in the Tory fraud scandal that the public learned about in the early '90s. ((CBC) )

A former Saskatchewan cabinet minister who was convicted for his role in a $1-million fraud scheme involving public funds has died.

Lorne McLaren, 80, died Sunday at the Regina General Hospital, according to an obituary in the Regina Leader-Post.

McLaren was a Progressive Conservative member of the Saskatchewan legislature from 1982 to 1991, and served as labour minister in former premier Grant Devine's government.

An investigation later found that during the Tories' final term in office, McLaren helped plan a fraud scheme that misused taxpayer money in communications expense allowances.

In 1995, he pleaded guilty to defrauding taxpayers and was sentenced to 3½ years in prison.

McLaren is survived by his wife, Barbara, four children as well as numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.