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Montreal to sue Tony Accurso, Frank Zampino for collusion

Montreal (September 5, 2019) – The city of Montreal plans to sue Tony Accurso, former construction magnate and Frank Zampino, former executive committee chair for collusion. The city’s legal department put together a $26 million lawsuit for overpaid construction contracts between 2001 and 2009. After Montreal’s executive committee approved the legal action on August 4th, the city lawyers plan to file the recovery action by the end of the week.

The lawsuit targets Tony Accurso, Frank Zampino and 19 collaborators including Accurso’s companies Simard-Beaudry Construction Inc. and Constructions Louisbourg Ltd. Zampino was the second-in-command at the city hall under former mayor Gérald Tremblay from 2002 to 2008. According to city documents, he was having ‘compromising relationships’ with key players of the scheme, including Accurso. Zampino allegedly participated in trips, dinners and other social events on Accurso’s luxury yacht among others, CBC News reports.

Montreal’s city lawyers were putting together the case regarding the alleged collusion under the administration of former mayor Gérald Tremblay in cooperation with IMK – a law firm that specializes in litigation and dispute resolution, according to their website. The lawsuit is mainly based on evidence brought up by the Charbonneau Commission – the public inquiry into corruption in Quebec’s construction industry. The documents show that the contract placing process was highly manipulated by the accused. Contracts for sewers, aqueducts, asphalt, and sidewalks were assigned to Accurso’s businesses. That way, the charges on these projects were overpriced by 20 percent. With the lawsuit, Montreal is seeking to recover the public funds. The city documents say that the accused “obtained undue advantages to the detriment of the city and its citizens, and diverted substantial amounts from the public purse”.

According to the Montreal Gazette, this recovery action will be the largest suit to date Montreal has ever launched in context with alleged corruption and collusion in the 2000s.