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Thirteen people plead guilty in municipal fraud scheme in Laval, near Montreal

Last Updated Jul 11, 2017 at 5:00 pm MDT

LAVAL, Que. – Thirteen people pleaded guilty Tuesday in a fraud scheme involving the awarding of municipal contracts in the Montreal-area city of Laval.

Twelve of the 13 received sentences to be served in the community.

Businessman Luc Lemay was sentenced to 21 months in prison.

Meanwhile, reputed ringleader Claude Deguise, who previously pleaded guilty, was sentenced to 30 months in prison.

Initially, 37 people were charged in 2013, including Gilles Vaillancourt, who served as Laval mayor for 23 straight years until he quit politics in the fall of 2012.

Vaillancourt eventually pleaded guilty to fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud and breach of trust. He also agreed to reimburse $8.5 million and was sentenced to about six years in prison.

Some of the 37 accused have since died, while others have had their charges dropped because of the length of time it was taking for their cases to get to trial.

(Cogeco News)