Vaughan (October 4, 2019) – OPP’s economic crime and corruption squad charged former Vaughan mayor Michael Di Biase with breach of trust and municipal corruption as a result of a four-and-a-half-years investigation. Di Biase is accused of receiving a benefit from the construction company Maystar General Contractors among others while building his family cottage on Orr Lake. The construction company was contracted by the city of Vaughan for multiple businesses since approximately 2002 such as the new fire hall, city hall, and library.
Since April 2015, the OPP’s economic crime and corruption squad have been investigating former Vaughan mayor Michael Di Biase. He is accused of committing fraud while building his family cottage on Orr Lake, about 25 kilometers north of Barrie using his relationship to the construction firm Maystar General Contractors and two others.
After the city’s integrity commissioner referred her findings to the police four-and-a-half years ago, the special unit was looking into any ‘advantage or benefit’ the 71-year-old Di Biase might have received from Maystar and one other construction company as well as an architecture firm. Richard Lorello, Di Biase’s political rival and local Vaughan activist issued a complaint that he suspects that the then city representative was getting help at his cottage by a city contracted construction firm.
Maystar General Contractors received million-dollar projects in the city of Vaughan during the last two decades. Di Biase supported the construction company while bringing successful motions and voting in their favor at the city council. As a consequence, Maystar was ordered to build the city’s new fire hall, the city hall and the library. Di Biase is alleged of assisting the construction company in obtaining city business. Maystar is denying any collusion or favor regarding Di Biase. The OPP confirmed that the companies were never subject to the investigation.
Michael Di Biase of Woodbridge in Vaughan is now charged with breach of trust and municipal corruption. He was a Councillor from 1985 to 2002 and again from 2010 to 2014. From 2002 to 2006 he was Vaughan’s mayor and 2014 to 2017 deputy mayor according to CBC News. He is due to appear in court on October 30.
Marina Burghard writes for Canadian Fraud News about fraud-related cases, whistleblower, jurisdiction, identity theft, consumer protection, etc. – essentially about scams and how to protect yourself against this kind of fraudulent criminal behavior. She holds a Master’s degree in Political Science where her interest in criminology grew. Besides fraud, Marina’s scientific interest lies in terrorism, extremism and how to deal with it as a society.