Five defendants sentenced Thursday at the Longueuil courthouse
A couple involved in a fraud of more than $ 20 million smiled insolently at a dozen investors cheated on Thursday before heading to the penitentiary.
“She was arrogant until the end,” summarized Jean-Pierre Labelle speaking of France-Josée Dancause, the head of the pyramid fraud.
The man lost $ 2.5 million in the financial stratagem, which lasted from 2006 to 2013.
“She looks at us, the head of the criminal organization, as if she laughs at the system. She laughs at us, at all the victims, “continued Karkouti Souhad, who lost several hundred thousand dollars.
The two men were at the courthouse in Longueuil on Thursday to see what sentence Justice Alexandre Boucher was reserving for the criminal organization that cracked down on the South Shore of Montreal and Estrie.
Like 80 other people, they were promised huge profits if they invested in a buy-back system seized by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. All this was pure fiction.
The five accused were convicted two weeks ago of charges ranging from conspiracy to gangsterism to fraud and money laundering. The jury trial lasted six months.
Penalty of ten years
The ruling head, France-Josée Dancause, was sentenced to 10 years in prison. The magistrate pointed out “the greed and dishonesty” of the 54-year-old woman and the personal enrichment she has benefited from through fraud.
Dancause used some of the money from investors to buy buildings that she renovated at great expense.
His spouse Daniel St-Denis has been sent to the shadows for three years. The 54-year-old was only convicted of money laundering.
Former notary Sophie Jolicoeur also received three years of penitentiary. The 49-year-old has used her professional credentials and trust accounts to “give fraud a real character”, betraying public trust, the judge said.
Regarded as the “lieutenant of Dancause”, Alain Péloquin was sentenced to eight years of detention.
The magistrate pointed out that the “charisma and interpersonal skills” of the 53-year-old man had “significantly contributed” to the fraudulent obtaining of victims’ money.
Finally, Chantal Goulet, a friend of Dancause, escaped with a six-month suspended sentence to be served at home. The involvement of the 49-year-old woman was less important.
Investors met after the hearing on Thursday have little hope of seeing their money again someday. Some were able to recover some thanks to the Chamber of Notaries.
“When you are offered very high and interesting returns, ask yourself questions and check. We must be careful, check with whom we do business, “summarized Françoys Malo, who lost $ 300,000 in fraud.