Lawyers for Frank Zampino and others accused of fraud in a municipal real estate deal were in court Friday morning as their clients were officially charged with 13 counts of fraud and influence peddling.

The former right-hand man to Mayor Gerald Tremblay, Zampino was one of several people arrested in May as part of Quebec's anticorruption sweep.

Paolo Catania, along with the company Frank Catania et Associes Inc., are also involved in the case.

"Ten accused, one company, 13 counts, counts of fraud, counts of breach of trust and fraud against the government," said prosecutor Sylvain Lepine.


This case relates to a large parcel of land that was sold by the city of Montreal several years ago.

The Surete du Quebec investigation alleges that Zampino and other members of the Mayor's entourage passed on very privileged information to Catania's firm, which was then able to profit from that information.

The victims are Montreal taxpayers, since the city did not make as much money from the real estate sale as it could.

Pleas in the case will be entered at a later date.