Canada: Montreal Mayor Charged With Fraud
Montreal’s mayor was arrested and charged with fraud on Monday, making him the latest Canadian politician mired in corruption scandals. Prosecutors levied 14 charges against Michael Applebaum in connection with two real estate deals, Reuters reported.
Applebaum was appointed Montreal’s interim mayor in November 2012 after his predecessor, Gerald Tremblay, resigned amid allegations of illegal spending by his political party and that he had allowed corruption to grow rampant. Tremblay denied the allegations. At the time, Applebaum promised to stamp out government corruption, Reuters reported.
Applebaum faces counts of fraud, breach of trust, conspiracy, and secret payments that go back to 2006-2011 and involve tens of thousands of dollars.
Applebaum’s arrest is part of a crackdown on government corruption in Canada. The head of Quebec province’s anti-corruption squad said the team had arrested more than 100 individuals since it was set up in 2011. A special inquiry into Quebec’s construction industry has led to allegations of contract rigging, kickbacks to politicians, and illegal campaign financing, Reuters reported.
Other Canadian mayors have also been accused of wrongdoing. Joe Fontana, mayor of London, a town near Toronto, was charged with many of the same crimes as Applebaum in November 2012. Both men have denied any wrongdoing, and have refused calls to resign.