Quebec Anti-corruption squad arrests two men on charges of defrauding government

MONTREAL – Two men have been arrested in Quebec on numerous charges — including abuse of power by a public official and defrauding the government.

Quebec’s anti-corruption police squad said Paolo Catania and Francois Theriault were arrested Wednesday by provincial police.

An arrest warrant was also issued for Antonio Catania.

Theriault and Paolo Catania were both released by investigators on promises to appear in court on May 1.

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The men are also facing charges of conspiracy, fraud, use of a counterfeit document and accepting secret commissions.

The arrests came shortly before another man named Paolo Catania appeared in court in Montreal in a separate case.

That Catania, who runs a construction empire alleged to have extensive ties to the Sicilian Mafia, faces criminal charges in a high-profile case.

He appeared in court on Wednesday along with seven other people.

Quebec’s construction inquiry has heard testimony about tight links between Catania’s business and the most senior figures in the Rizzuto crime family.

Others who appeared in court with Catania included Frank Zampino, the former chairman of city of Montreal’s executive committee and Bernard Trepanier, a former organizer for Union Montreal.

That’s the municipal party of former mayor Gerald Tremblay which has been rocked by alleged scandals.

The eight face a variety of charges in connection with the construction of Faubourg Contrecoeur, a residential complex in east-end Montreal. The charges include fraud, conspiracy and breach of trust.

They will return to court April 29 to have a date set for their mega-trial.

The Crown used a procedure called a preferred indictment that allows the case to bypass a preliminary hearing and go directly to trial.

©2013The Canadian Press

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