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by Mike Caswell
SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. and two former executives have been charged with forgery, conspiracy and fraud. The RCMP says that the charges arose from an investigation into bribes paid in exchange for obtaining a contract. Police identified the individuals charged as former SNC vice-president Normand Morin and former SNC-Lavalin International Inc. vice-president Kamal Francis.
As is customary with criminal cases in Canada, the RCMP released few details. In a news release issued on Thursday, Sept. 23, the RCMP said that the charges arose from something called Project Agrafe, the purpose of which was to look into criminal wrongdoing at SNC and SNC-Lavalin International. The investigation was undertaken by a division that investigates criminal activity that "poses a threat to Canada's government institutions, public officials, the integrity of the Crown, or that imperils Canada's political, economic and social integrity."
While the RCMP had little to say about the charges, it did mention that it took several years to investigate the action. The matter does appear quite dated, as one of those charged, Mr. Morin, last appeared in SNC's public filings in 2004. In his last full year with SNC, which was 2003, the company disclosed his earnings as being $310,000, plus a $258,500 bonus.
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