Lino Zambito pleads guilty to fraud, conspiracy
Former construction entrepreneur could face jail time for Boisbriand kickbacks
One of the star witnesses at the province's corruption commission hearings, Lino Zambito, has pleaded guilty to several charges including fraud and conspiracy stemming from a cash for contracts scheme involving the former mayor of Boisbriand.
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The former vice-president of the construction firm Infrabec was accused of making illegal donations to the former mayor's party. He pleaded guilty today in a St-Jerôme courtroom to six charges:
- conspiracy to commit breach of trust
- municipal corruption
- fraud over $5,000
- conspiracy to commit fraud over $5,000
Giuseppe Zambito, Lino Zambito's father, was originally charged with fraud over $5,000, but pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of intimidation.
Both were arrested as part of Opération Marteau in 2011, the first major police operation targeting corruption and collusion.
The mayor of Boisbriand, Sylvie St-Jean, and engineers with the engineering-consulting firm Roche and BPR-Triax, were also arrested.
A year later, Lino Zambito decided to work with investigators. Over several days, he explained to the Charbonneau commission how a cartel of companies split up contracts in Montreal and Laval.
He revealed that businessmen were paying kickbacks to municipal parties in power and paying a percentage of their earnings to the Mafia.
The crimes Lino Zambito pleaded guilty to could earn him jail time, but his collaboration with the judicial system and his frank testimony has many anticipating a lenient sentence.
St-Jean, who pleaded guilty in 2014, was sentenced to two years less a day and was allowed to serve her time in the community.
Lino Zambito is the first entrepreneur to enter a guilty plea.