Quebec construction magnate slapped with more than 900 charges

MONTREAL – The tax man has slapped former Quebec construction mogul Tony Accurso with more than 900 charges and is seeking nearly $8.5 million.

Revenue Quebec accuses Accurso’s former companies — Simard-Beaudry, Louisbourg Construction and Marton Construction — of filing false declarations and invoices while claiming false tax credits and refunds.

Those are just some of the companies that belonged to Accurso, who ran a massive construction empire.

The charges stem from the period between June 1, 2005 and March 31, 2010. A spokesman for Revenue Quebec says the charges announced today are under the penal, not criminal, system and the maximum punishment is two years’ imprisonment.

The 928 charges announced today are almost all against Accurso and his former companies. In addition, Accurso and his right-hand man, Frank Minicucci, are accused of filing false returns for the same period.

A large part of Accurso’s construction empire was sold to a consortium earlier this year.

Meanwhile, Accurso has been charged in a number of municipal corruption schemes and is facing a wide range of charges stemming from those cases.

His name has also come up several times at Quebec’s corruption inquiry.

One witness, Lino Zambito, says that when he tried to bid against Accurso for a big job he was called to a meeting in the presence of Vito Rizzuto — reputedly the most powerful mobster in Canada.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version said the charges were under the Criminal Code.