Former Liberal Organizer Charged in Sponsorship Scandal

In an announcement made on Friday, the RCMP revealed to have laid fraud-related charges against a Quebec businessman and a close ally of former Prime Minister, Jean Chretien, in connection with the sponsorship scandal. According to the RCMP, Jacques Corriveau has been summoned to appear in court on charges of fraud on the government, forgery and laundering the proceeds of crime following a still-ongoing investigation into the management of the Quebec Sponsorship program of the mid-1990s.

The probe dubbed as Project Carnegie started in 2006 and worked till 2010 to produce latest charges against Corriveau. Speaking with reporters in Montreal, RCMP Const. Erique Gasse stated that “it is alleged that Mr. Corriveau deposited in the coffers of the Liberal Party of Canada part of the funds he obtained through fraudulent activities, and that he kept the rest for his personal benefit.” The foundation of the sponsorship program was laid after the 1995 Quebec referendum in an effort to promote federalism. In 2002, then-auditor general Sheila Fraser revealed that millions of dollars were awarded in contracts to firms with Liberal ties for which little or no work was performed.

Consequently, an inquiry headed by Justice John Gomery found evidence of millions of dollars in kickback schemes that funnelled money back to the party. In the report, Gomery states that “Jacques Corriveau was the central figure in an elaborate kickback scheme by which he enriched himself personally and provided funds and benefits to the (Quebec wing of the Liberal party).”

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