October 4, 2023

La Ronge Northerner

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Fraud Against Government: Jail for Building “Batcave”

Fraud Against Government: Jail for Building “Batcave”

Former Director of the Montreal School of Construction Trades He cheated the government A man who built a garage at home inspired by superhero Batman was eventually sentenced to 18 months in prison.

“His conduct, along with corruption, seriously undermined the integrity of a government body. All things considered, he should be sentenced to a significant prison term,” Judge Alexandre Boucher commented before sentencing Alain Prud’homme in a Montreal court this Tuesday.

Upon completion of his sentence, the 64-year-old defendant must perform 120 hours of community service for crimes committed between 2011 and 2017.

At the time, Prud’homme was EMCM’s director, and he used his title to award nearly $900,000 worth of “irregular” contracts to two contractors not properly approved by the school board.

“In return, he received personal benefits and benefits from them, totaling an approximate value of $42,500, including a gift certificate. […]A contribution to a trip to Italy and, above all, work on the construction of a luxury garage in his private residence”, the magistrate recalled.

Jim Chick

Prud’homme used his position to build a chic gymnasium with changing rooms inside the school, as well as buy useless equipment at EMCM, but he used it for personal purposes.

Convicted of fraud against the government and breach of trust of a public official, Proudhomme hoped to escape house arrest because of his age, his health and his low risk of recidivism.

The Crown, for its part, hoped for up to 30 months in prison.

But while a report indicated that the accused was “capable of openness, self-criticism and introspection”, the judge assessed that his awareness was mixed, recalling that the accused presented as a victim.

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“It is questionable whether he understands the massive responsibility that comes with public office,” he said.

So, after weighing all the elements of the case, the judge concluded that imprisonment was necessary to prevent anyone from imitating Prudtholm.

Two entrepreneurs, Enrico De Paola of Valdi-Tec and Modesto Abella of Abella Electric Inc. Both were put under house arrest for 15 months.