Trial opens in large maple syrup theft in Quebec

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“It can seem a little folkloric to talk about stolen maple syrup,” Crown prosecutor Julien Beauchamp-Laliberté told the jury Thursday as the trial began of four men charged with theft, fraud and trafficking in relation to the syrup heist. “It was the largest theft investigated by the Sûreté du Québec in its history,” Beauchamp-Laliberté said.

Richard Vallières is charged with theft, fraud and trafficking. Étienne St-Pierre is charged with fraud and trafficking. Jean Lord and Raymond Vallières are charged with possession of stolen syrup. The victims are the 7,500 producers of maple syrup.

Provincial syrup-marketing organization

Beauchamp-Laliberté said the theft and fraud were committed against the provincial syrup-marketing organization, the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers. The purloined syrup was pumped into a black market that undermines the quotas and prices established by the federation, he said.

Read more about the great maple syrup heist at The National Post.

This article is summarized by Canadian Fraud News.