MONTREAL — An ex-Liberal organizer convicted of fraud related to the federal sponsorship scandal is expected to be sentenced today.
A jury found Jacques Corriveau guilty of three charges in November: fraud against the government, forgery and laundering proceeds of crime.
His lawyer is appealing the conviction.
The crimes Corriveau was convicted of occurred between 1997 and 2003 and were related to what became known as the sponsorship scandal, which eventually helped bring down the Liberal government in 2006.
Corriveau, who worked on ex-prime minister Jean Chretien’s Liberal leadership campaigns and was close to him, was accused of pocketing roughly $7 million in kickbacks tied to sponsorship contracts given to Liberal-friendly companies.
Prosecutors have suggested Corriveau, 83, serve between three and five years behind bars, while the defence has countered with a sentence in the community, citing his age and the lengthy delay in his case getting to trial.
The judge who headed the commission into the sponsorship scandal described Corriveau in his report about 10 years ago as the ”central figure” in the kickback scheme.
A Quebec Superior Court justice agreed last week to a plan put forth by Crown and defence lawyers on returning amounts considered proceeds of crime.
Corriveau’s home in St-Bruno-de-Montarville, evaluated at $985,000, will be sold and some of the money will go to the federal government.
A bank account with more than $850,000 will be seized and Corriveau will also face a $1.4-million fine. He would not necessarily be obliged to pay the fine until after his sentence expires.
In a motion filed in the Quebec Court of Appeal in December, Corriveau’s lawyers argued the trial judge erred by not invoking the lengthy delays to grant a stay of proceedings before the trial began this past fall.
Corriveau was charged in December 2013 following an 11-year investigation.
The sponsorship program was created after the 1995 sovereignty referendum to increase the federal government’s presence in Quebec.
Ottawa’s inquiry into the program found that firms were winning contracts based on donations to the federal Liberals, with little work being done.
The Canadian Press
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