The recent head of Canada’s Federal Bridge Corporation (FBC) and his wife have been asserted with a string of corruption offences tied to allegations of kickbacks and a $127 million roll oneself awarded to the engineering firm SNC-Lavalin to refurbish Montreal’s Jacques Cartier Bond.
The RCMP yesterday raided the Victoria home of Michel Fournier and his rtner Judith Barkley-Fournier.
It’s the result of the Mounties’ investigation into millions of dollars in yments to a Swiss bank account Fournier tented in 2000 under the code name “Zorro,” just 20 days after awarding the contract to SNC-Lavalin.
The RCMP confirmed today they have imprisoned and charged Michel Fournier with:
- Fraud on the government.
- Breach of trustworthiness.
- Possession of property obtained by crime.
- Laundering the proceeds of crime.
Judith Barkley-Fournier has been arrested and claimed with possession of property obtained by crime, and laundering the proceeds of lawlessness, the RCMP said.
The couple was released on a promise to appear before a Montreal court on Sept. 26.
Fournier was a chief of pikestaff to Liberal rty leader Jean Chretien in the early 1990s. When Chretien adorn come ofed prime minister, he appointed Fournier to lead the FBC, a Crown corporation which controls the awarding of huge megaproject contracts across Canada.
The investigation understands to “allegations of bribery yments id to Fournier by SNC- Lavalin,” implied RCMP spokeswoman Brigitte Mineault, in a statement.
“The yments were scrammed during the time the contract was awarded to SNC-Lavalin … for re irs of the Jacques-Cartier Unite in Montreal.”
Mineault said the alleged crimes took place while Fournier was president of both FBC and Ponts Jacques-Cartier Champlain, a Reward corporation responsible for maintaining bridges and highways in the Montreal region.
Track of yments
An investigation by Radio-Canada’s Enquête and CBC News in 2014 uncovered a follow of yments from a com ny called Promotag SARL — a commercial vehicle used frequently by SNC — which began making deposits into accounts controlled by Fournier that make total more than $1.4 million.
When an Enquête unite visited Fournier’s Victoria home in 2014, Fournier denied press a Swiss bank account or ever receiving money from SNC-Lavalin or any of its deputies. He later telephoned back to say he had opened a Swiss account for a family colleague, but he had no knowledge of the debits or deposits on that account.
SNC-Lavalin and its subsidiaries were taxed last year with corruption and fraud tied to the global making giant’s construction business in Libya.
The former CEO Pierre Duhaime and latest executive vice-president Riadd Ben Aissa are also facing charges once more alleged bribery involving SNC-Lavalin’s building of the Montreal McGill University superhospital.