SNC-Lavalin fraud case put off until February

RCMP alleges the company paid off public officials in Libya to influence government decisions.

MONTREAL — The criminal case against SNC-Lavalin for alleged fraud in Libya has been delayed until next February.

The RCMP alleges the Montreal-based engineering giant paid nearly $47.7 million to public officials in Libya between 2001 and 2011 to influence government decisions.

Proceedings were to have resumed in Montreal Oct. 16 but were put off until Feb. 26.

The Mounties have also charged the company, its construction division and its SNC-Lavalin International subsidiary with one charge each of fraud and one of corruption for allegedly defrauding various Libyan organizations of about $129.8 million.

SNC has previously said it will plead not guilty and that the charges stem from alleged activities of former employees who face criminal charges.

If convicted, SNC-Lavalin could be banned from bidding on Canadian government contracts for 10 years under Ottawa’s so-called integrity framework.

However, the federal government has moved to reduce penalties if companies co-operate with authorities and take remedial action.

But SNC-Lavalin says the government’s changes don’t go far enough and are out of step with Canada’s trading partners.

© 2015 The Canadian Press

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