Pomerleau employee charged with fraud for attempted Turcot Interchange collusion
Published Tuesday, September 30, 2014 12:32PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, October 1, 2014 7:42AM EDT
A Pomerleau employee has been charged with fraud and secret commissions for allegedly meddled with bids for work on the Turcot Interchange.
UPAC, Quebec's permanent anti-corruption squad, announced Tuesday morning that it had arrested one person, confirming later in the day that Eric Carbonneau of Pomerleau was in custody.
He was charged later that afternoon and was suspended from Pomerleau without pay.
In a joint news conference with the Surete du Quebec, UPAC chief Robert Lafreniere said Carbonneau, a project manager for construction company Pomerleau, had secretly tried to sell SNC-Lavalin details about his company's plans for the Turcot in order to undermine his company's bid and make several million dollars for himself.
Lafreniere said SNC-Lavalin acted above board and was not tempted by Carbonneau's offer. It appears the company went straight to police and co-operated in order to catch Carbonneau, and an investigation was opened in September.
"He was arrested just before he was about to receive money," said Lafreniere. "I cannot say more without getting into technical aspects of the case."
Carbonneau acted alone and without the consent of his employers, said Andre Boulanger of the Surete du Quebec.
Pomerleau is part of the Groupement Nouvel consortium, along with Verreault, Dessau and Roche, who are seeking the government contract for the Turcot Interchange renovation, valued at $3.7 billion.
In a statement Tuesday afternoon, Pomerleau stated it was "astonished and extremely disappointed" to learn of Carbonneau's alleged offences.
"This employee was immediately suspended without pay and Pomerleau has officially made a complaint against him," the statement read.
It also said it is cooperating with the investigation.
In its own statement, SNC-Lavalin also said it is cooperating with authorities in an effort to "set a new standard for clean business in the engineering and construction industry."