The firm SNC-Lavalin, criminally accused of having paid bribes for the renovation of the Jacques-Cartier bridge 25 years ago, could get away with paying a fine of nearly $ 30 million.
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This would allow it to continue to obtain public contracts with the governments of Canada and Quebec.
The engineering and construction giant had been charged with fraud against the government, forgery, fraud and conspiracy in September 2021.
Two of its former administrators, Normand Morin and Kamal Francis, were also arrested and charged in connection with this investigation called Agrafe 2.
They would have offered sums totaling $ 2.23 million to the former CEO of the federal bridge company Michel Fournier, between 1997 and 2004.
However, last September, the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions (DPCP) proposed to SNC-Lavalin inc. and SNC-Lavalin International to negotiate the payment of a fine, which would allow the firms to continue to receive public contracts.
Today, the DPCP announced that a preliminary agreement with SNC-Lavalin has been reached and will be presented to the Superior Court on May 10.
This agreement provides for SNC-Lavalin and SNC-Lavalin International to pay a total amount of $29,558,777 over a period of 3 years.
To be valid, the agreement must be approved by a judge.
The Crown declined to comment further today, "due to, among other things, confidentiality obligations under the Criminal Code and orders made by the Superior Court in the early stages of the approval process."
In September, SNC-Lavalin was pleased to be the first Canadian company invited to negotiate such an agreement.
This would allow it to "continue its activities and protect the jobs of its staff of more than 30,000 employees, while safeguarding the interest of its customers, investors and other stakeholders", she said.
Recall that the bribes would have been paid as part of obtaining a $ 128 million contract for the repair of the Jacques-Cartier Bridge, in the early 2000s.
The company claims to have reviewed its internal policies since the events, and implemented a "culture of integrity"
In this case, Michel Fournier was sentenced to five years in prison in 2017.