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Former Quebec construction boss pleads guilty


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May 13, 2015 by On-Site Magazine

Lino Zambito pleads guilty to criminal charges. Sentencing in Sept.
Lino Zambito pleads guilty to criminal charges. Sentencing in Sept.

A former construction entrepreneur who became a star whistleblower at Quebec’s corruption inquiry has pleaded guilty to criminal charges, The Canadian Press reported Wednesday afternoon.

Lino Zambito’s pleas came as his trial was slated to begin in Saint-Jerome.

He pleaded guilty to six charges including fraud, conspiracy and intimidation stemming from contracts awarded in Boisbriand, north of Montreal.

Zambito will have to wait until Sept. 29 for sentencing arguments as the trial for a co-accused began May 13 (the same day he entered his plea).

He is best known for his 2012 testimony at Quebec’s Charbonneau Commission where he described a cartel-like structure that drove up the cost of projects in Montreal and Laval.

Zambito told the inquiry that businessmen were paying kickbacks to municipal parties and paying a cut to the Mafia.

Defence lawyer Conrad Lord says he expects discussions with the Crown about sentencing to take place in the coming months.

Zambito himself took to Twitter on Wednesday to say he wouldn’t comment on the pleas out of respect for the judicial process.