Former Quebec construction mogul Tony Accurso received a four-year prison term on Thursday following his conviction on fraud and corruption charges.
A jury recently found Accurso guilty on all five charges he was facing stemming from a municipal corruption scheme in Laval.
The Crown was seeking a five-year prison term, while Accurso’s lawyer, Marc Labelle, argued his client should serve a suspended sentence in the community.
Labelle said he wasn’t surprised by the sentence and that he intends to appeal both the verdict and the sentence next Tuesday.
Accurso, 66, will remain behind bars at least until then.
Crown prosecutor Philippe-Pierre Langevin was satisfied with the sentence, saying it reflects the scope of the crimes committed.
The corruption scheme lasted between 1996 and 2010 and was run by former Laval mayor Gilles Vaillancourt, who pleaded guilty to fraud-related charges and was sentenced to six years in prison.
Quebec Superior Court Justice James Brunton did not agree to a Crown request that Accurso pay $1.6 million in restitution to the City of Laval.
The $1.6 million represented two per cent of the value of the contracts awarded to Accurso’s firms that authorities believe was paid in kickbacks to city officials.
At his trial, Accurso denied any involvement in the scheme and testified he was not aware of any such system in place.