Skip to main content

Montreal's interim mayor arrested on fraud charges

By Paula Newton, CNN
updated 7:22 AM EDT, Tue June 18, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Michael Applebaum faces 14 counts including fraud, breach of trust and conspiracy
  • The charges relate to two "real estate projects," a police official says
  • Applebaum, who denies all charges, had promised to "end an era of sleaze"

Ottawa (CNN) -- Montreal's interim mayor, Michael Applebaum, was arrested and charged early Monday with 14 criminal counts including fraud, breach of trust and conspiracy.

Quebec police said the charges involve at least two Montreal real estate transactions from 2006 to 2011 and hundreds of thousands of dollars traded hands.

"These allegations rest essentially on obtaining permission and political support on two real estate projects," said Capt. Andre Boulanger of the Surete du Quebec, the province's police force. He would not confirm or deny if the charges involve bribes or ties to gangsters and organized crime.

Applebaum took over the mayor's job in November after Gerald Tremblay resigned amid corruption allegations. At the time, Applebaum vowed to "end an era of sleaze" at Montreal City Hall.

From 2006 to 2011, Applebaum served as the borough mayor of a large suburb of Montreal. During this time he also served on the city council.

Commenting at a police news conference Monday, the head of Quebec's anti-corruption squad, Cmdr. Robert LaFreniere, said, "We can no longer tolerate these reprehensible acts committed towards the management of our public institutions. The values of ethics and integrity must remain at the heart of the actions taken by our elected officials."

Officers said the investigation began in March after they received what they described as "solid" evidence from members of the public. Quebec police say the investigation continues and they are not ruling out more arrests.

This is the most recent explosive allegation to rock the city of Montreal as the details of an insidious corruption scandal have been laid bare at a province-wide inquiry. Testimony at that inquiry has outlined widespread corruption allegations and close relationships between elected officials, city employees, contractors and even organized crime.

Applebaum denies all charges.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:39 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Tethered to an IV drip, 71-year-old Shin Young Ja lies under a thin fleece blanket, nursing a broken back and wracked with survivor's guilt.
updated 7:23 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Family members of the missing passengers are pinning slim hopes on floundering air pockets.
updated 12:14 PM EDT, Thu April 17, 2014
An Iranian mother slaps and then forgives her 17-year old son's murderer in dramatic scenes at the gallows.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
An "extraordinary" video shows what looks like the largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years.
updated 8:30 AM EDT, Mon April 14, 2014
Explore each side's case, reconstructed from Pistorius' court affidavit and the prosecution's case during last year's bail hearing.
updated 8:37 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Mentions of the 1989 Tiananmen Square student protests or political reform are still censored in China.
updated 5:34 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
The Hadza are one of the last communities of hunter-gatherers in the world -- but losing their land.
updated 9:22 PM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
In choosing to change a traditional practice, Francis is being as radical as Jesus was in his own time.
updated 7:13 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Too weak. Can't handle pressure. Unattractive to sponsors. Susie Wolff has heard it all.
updated 11:56 PM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
updated 8:30 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
It's like finding a needle in a universe-wide haystack. Researchers have located a planet roughly the size of Earth that could be habitable.
updated 5:40 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Dubai, long champion of all things biggest, longest and most expensive, will soon have some competition from a neighboring country.
ADVERTISEMENT