PaintSquare.com
      | Connect Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
About | Subscribe | Advertise
  

 

Download our FREE eResource: Specifier's Choice Guide. Get it now.

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


900+ Charges Rock Construction Empire

Friday, June 28, 2013

More items for Program/Project Management

More items from North America

Comment | More

A notorious Quebec heavy-construction magnate with a long history of corruption charges has been slapped with hundreds of tax-fraud charges that could land him behind bars with millions of dollars in fines.

Revenu Québec has issued a total of 928 counts against Antonio "Tony" Accurso, four of his construction companies, and an associate, the agency announced Wednesday (June 26). The charges carry some $8.5 million in potential fines and a maximum of two years in prison.

The charges follow a raid on Accurso's offices by Revenu Québec last fall.

Simard-Beaudry Construction Inc., a leading Canadian construction firm, and several other contracting companies that perform a wide variety of large-scale engineering and construction projects.

Antonio Accurso
Montreal Gazette / Allen McInnis

Quebec construction mogul Antonio Accurso and several of his companies were hit with 928 charges; 470 counts named him personally.

He was not arrested but was ordered to appear before a judge on Sept. 25.

The charges allege tax fraud, Revenu Québec said in a press release.

A spokesperson for Revenu Québec said the charges issued were under the penal, not criminal, system; the maximum punishment is two years in jail, Canada MSN News reported.

Four Companies, Hundreds of Charges

Accurso and his former companies are accused of making false statements and asking for illegitimate tax credits and tax refunds on inputs from June 1, 2005 to March 31, 2010. Charges of false invoices to registered books have also been filed.

The companies, valued at a total of $150 million, and the number of counts each faces are:

  • Simard-Beaudry Construction Inc., a large-scale civil engineering firm founded in 1950 that builds bridges and roads, dams, urban infrastructures and water purification (222 counts);
  • Constructions Louisbourg Ltd., another construction company based in Laval (97 counts);
  • Constructions Marton, a division of Louisbourg (64 counts); and
  • Louisbourg Simard-Beaudry Construction Inc. (69 counts).

Accurso was individually charged with a total of 470 counts; his right-hand man, Franco Minicucci, was charged with six counts.

Accurso and Minicucci are accused of making false tax returns from 2005 to 2010 by failing to report taxable income from the four companies.

Putting the Touch on 'Touch'

The tax investigation was nicknamed "Project Touch" after Accurso's 120-foot-long yacht The Touch, which he used to entertain political and business figures.

The investigation, which is ongoing, has been led by Quebec's Permanent Anti-Corruption Unit (known by its French acronym of UPAC), which was established in February 2011.

"It is thanks to the collaboration of UPAC teams that the numerous cases in the fight against corruption and embezzlement have become the focus of rigorous investigations carried out by the Revenue Quebec team, which today filed significant charges against individuals and companies that have abused Quebec's tax system," unit director Robert Lafreniere said in the announcement.

Project Touch
superyachts.com

The investigation was called "Project Touch," after Accurso's personal superyacht, Touch used to court politicians and business figures.

The new case comes just weeks after a 14-count case was filed against Accurso. Those charges, filed May 1, relate to one of his former companies, Hyprescon Inc. In that case, he is accused of allegedly agreeing to carry out false statements and asking for illegitimate tax credits and refunds between March 1, 2005, and Sept. 30, 2005.

Hyprescon, a supplier of concrete pressure pipe, was sold to Hanson Pipe & Precast, of Irving, TX, in 2007.

Empire Sold Off

Accurso reportedly withdrew from his businesses and sold a large portion of his construction empire to Hexagon Investments, where two of his sons are shareholders, CTV News reported.

He announced his retirement in October 2012.

The four companies named in the new charges were not part of the sale, Joel Gauthier, head of Hexagon, told CTV News.

Edouard Plante-Frechette / Archives La Presse

In 2010, Louisbourg and Simard-Beaudry pleaded guilty to tax evasion. Accurso has also been arrested multiple times for fraud and tax evasion.

"We knew there was trouble with the tax authorities, and there were search warrants, but we did our homework," Gauthier said.

Past Charges, Mafia Involvement

In 2010, Construction Louisbourg and Simard-Beaudry Construction pleaded guilty to federal charges of tax evasion and were ordered to pay a combined $8 million in fines and back taxes. The two firms admitted to improperly claiming $19 million in business expenses and failing to pay $4 million in resulting taxes between 2003 and 2008.

In April 2011, Accurso was charged with fraud, conspiracy, influence peddling, breach of trust and two counts of defrauding the government. Quebec's anti-corruption unit found that public officials were allegedly benefiting from gifts and money in exchange for privileged information and favorable decisions.

In August 2012, Accurso was arrested on charges related to a federal tax evasion conspiracy. He was released by police the same day.

In October 2012, the Charbonneau Commission heard testimony from Lino Zambito, former owner of Infrabec, a company that bid on a $25 million Quebec Transport Department contract in 2002.

According to Zambito, he was called to a meeting at a restaurant owned by Accurso after submitting his bid. Zambito said he was then escorted to a back room and told by reputed Mafia godfather Vito Rizzuto that he should withdraw his bid, the Montreal Gazette reported.

Accurso denied that the meeting ever happened.

   

Tagged categories: Construction; Criminal acts; Government contracts; Lawsuits; Taxes

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

SABRE Autonomous Solutions
Safety, Productivity, Quality. Robotic Blasting

Learn how this simple to use, field deployed, automatic robot is eliminating hazards in major confined, cluttered and complex surface preparation projects.


Novetas Solutions
Abrasive Blasting near or over water?

100% Recycled Glass! NO Arsenic, Beryllium or other Toxic Metals! Great White Metal Finish and Safer than Slags! Call us at 866-775-6226


SAFE Systems, Inc.
Custom blast rooms
by SAFE Systems

Don't waste time and money "making do" with a "standard" design. Let us work with you to design and build the system that best fits your requirements.
Call 1-800-634-7278


Industrial Vacuum Equipment Corp.
Hurricane Vacuums
& Dust Collectors

Vacuum and dust collector hose, filters and related accessories.
IndustrialVacuum.com


CS Unitec
Remove Coatings, Corrosion & More!

For metal & concrete. Scalers, scabblers, deck hammers & scarifiers. Safe for hot work zones. Call our specialists: 800-700-5919.
Demo videos at www.csunitec.com.


International WorkBoat Show


Clemco International GmbH
Global engineering-trusted solutions

For more than 70 years, Clemco has provided the highest quality blast equipment with a total commitment to comfort and safety.


Absolute Equipment/Grand Rental Station
TIER 4 EQUIPMENT

We have Tier 4 Equipment including Air Compressors & Generators for Sale & Rent! Your job may now require Tier-4. www.absoluteequip.com or Call 412-931-6655.


PPG Protective and Marine Coatings Group
We Protect and Beautify the World

PPG is widely recognized as a world leader in protective and marine coatings, developing innovative, cutting-edge products and services.


Jotun Paints Inc.
Jotachar JF750 - The Time Saving Solution

The only mesh free solution for jet fire scenarios. Jotachar saves installation time and material costs - the next generation of epoxy passive fire protection.

 
 
 
Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker

 
EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us
 

© Copyright 2000-2016, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail webmaster@paintsquare.com