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 5:45 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
Pakistan Taliban say the school attack was revenge for the killing of children in a military offensive -- but they are being pressed by defections to ISIS.
A group that claims it hacked Sony Pictures has posted a public threat against moviegoers who see Sony's "The Interview."
updated 9:43 PM EST, Wed December 17, 2014
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
updated 4:48 AM EST, Thu December 18, 2014
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
updated 3:27 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
updated 9:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
updated 7:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
A social media campaign condemning Islamophobia under the hashtag #illridewithyou has taken off after Sydney hostage siege.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
updated 6:44 AM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
China-bound AirAsia flight turns back to Bangkok after passenger throws water over crew member.
updated 5:26 AM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
It takes Nepalese eye doctor, Sanduk Ruit about five minutes to change someone's life.
updated 5:54 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
This epic journey crosses 13,000 kilometers, eight countries over 21 days. Find out where.
updated 9:31 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT