Accurso and 4 companies fined $4.2M after admitting to tax fraud

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Tony Accurso and four companies he was associated with have been fined nearly $4.2 million for participating in tax evasion schemes.

The sentence was declared Friday morning at the Laval courthouse, according to Revenu Québec

The four companies admitted having participated, between March 2005 and March 2010, in a system of false invoices produced by nine shell companies, the provincial tax agency says.

Accurso, a former construction boss, was sentenced to serve four years in prison in 2018 after being found guilty on five counts related to fraud and corruption.

Those charges included conspiracy to commit acts of corruption, conspiracy to commit fraud, fraud of over $5,000, municipal corruption, and aiding in a breach of trust.

Accurso is now expected to pay the largest fine out of the group — more than $1.9 million after he admitted to filing false or misleading tax returns over a four-year period.

The rest of the fines are being levied against Simard Beaudry Construction Inc., Constructions Louisbourg ltée, Construction Marton (a subsidiary of Constructions Louisbourg ltée) and Louisbourg Simard Beaudry Construction Inc.

Revenu Québec says false invoicing was used for services ostensibly carried out by transport companies that were in fact shell companies.

In total, these four companies improperly obtained more than $2 million in GST and PST refunds.

In addition, the investigation revealed that the company Louisbourg Simard Beaudry Construction inc. paid bills for personal expenses of Accurso and claimed, in a corporate income tax return, an amount of $1.4 million.

Revenu Québec says the former construction boss failed to claim more than $7.2 million between 2005 and 2009, dodging at least $1.3 million in taxes.

Accurso and the companies will have two years to pay the fines.