'King of Laval' Gilles Vaillancourt sentenced to 6 years in prison
Vaillancourt, Laval's mayor for more than 2 decades, was arrested in 2013
Former Laval mayor Gilles Vaillancourt has been sentenced to six years for fraud, breach of trust and conspiracy to commit fraud.
Vaillancourt, who was mayor of Laval for 23 years until his arrest in 2013, reached a plea deal with the Crown last month that called for a six year prison sentence, with parole eligibility after one year.
The sentence was approved Thursday by Quebec Superior Court Justice James Brunton.
Former <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Laval?src=hash">#Laval</a> mayor Gilles Vaillancourt sentenced to 6 years in prison minus time served (the 2 weeks detainment after his guilty plea)—@salimah_shivji
In his decision, Justice Brunton said the former mayor took advantage of his position and that he deserves the recommended sentence of six years.
Vaillancourt, in handcuffs and a dress shirt and black coat, stood to receive his sentence with the help of a guard.
The agreement also includes a commitment to repay the city $7 million from a Swiss bank account, as well as more than $1 million in other assets, including his condominium. He is also waiving his pension.
Charges date back to anti-corruption sweep
Vaillancourt was arrested in March 2013 along with 36 others as part of a sweep by the province's anti-corruption unit, known as UPAC.
He was originally facing 12 charges, including conspiracy, fraud, influence peddling, breach of trust and gangsterism.
The gangsterism charges have been dropped as part of the plea deal.
Thirty-three of Vaillancourt's co-accused are still slated to stand trial.
As part of the agreement, Vaillancourt admitted that he knew about a system of corruption and collusion within his administration at Laval city hall.
The police investigation, which was dubbed Project Honor, looked into a system of corruption related to the awarding of public contracts by the City of Laval between 1996 and 2010.
Vaillancourt also admitted that during that time, certain sums of money were transferred from Canada to Switzerland, into various accounts held or controlled by Vaillancourt.