SNC Lavalin Construction Inc. Pleads Guilty to Fraud
SNC-Lavalin Construction Inc.(SLCI) pleaded guilty today in the Court of Quebec to fraud contrary to s. 380(1) a) of the Criminal Code.
In an Agreed Statement of Facts filed with the Court, the company admitted that between 2001 and 2011, $47,689,868 was directed to Saadi Gadhafi. In exchange for the payments, Saadi Gadhafi used his influence as the son of the Libyan Dictator Muammar Ghadafi to secure construction contracts for the benefit of SLCI, altering the competitive bidding process and causing a loss or a risk of loss to the Libyan people.
The money was directed through two representative companies, Duvel Securities Inc. and Dinova International Inc., both of which listed Riadh Ben Aissa, former vice-president and president of SLCI, as the sole beneficial owner.
Additionally, amounts totalling $73,582,219 were paid through the representative companies to Mr. Ben Aissa and to Sami Bebawi, former president of SLCI, for their personal benefit. Mr. Ben Aissa pleaded guilty in Switzerland in 2014 to corruption of foreign public officials, disloyal management of funds, fraud and money laundering in relation to these same events. Mr. Bebawi was found guilty of fraud, corruption of a foreign public official, laundering proceeds of crime and two counts of possession of proceeds of crime by a jury in Quebec Superior Court in Montreal on December 15 2019.
The Public Prosecution Service of Canada and counsel for SLCI made joint submissions for a fine of $280,000,000, payable in equal regular instalments over a five-year period. The Court also issued a three-year probation order, with conditions that SLCI cause the SNC-Lavalin Group to maintain, and as required, further strengthen its compliance program, record keeping, and internal control standards and procedures.
"We are pleased that after entering into a facilitation conference supervised by the Court of Quebec, we were able to reach an agreement that is fair and furthers the administration of justice," said Federal prosecutor Richard Roy. "In cases as complex as this, resolutions play an integral role in the criminal justice system.
"I would like to thank the prosecutors for their dedicated work on this very challenging case, in the face of unprecedented public attention" said Kathleen Roussel, Director of Public Prosecutions. "They have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to ensuring a just outcome."
In 2015, SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. and two of its affiliates, SNC-Lavalin Construction Inc. and SNC-Lavalin International Inc., were charged with corruption of a foreign public official and fraud. The remaining charges were stayed against all three defendants as a result of the resolution.
The Public Prosecution Service of Canada is a national organization responsible for prosecuting offences under federal jurisdiction in a manner that is free of any improper influence and that considers the public interest. The PPSC is also responsible for providing prosecution-related advice to law enforcement agencies across Canada.
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