Crown calling for former SNC-Lavalin executive to pay back $24 million

The Crown is is requesting that Sami Bebawi, a former executive at SNC-Lavalin, pay back the money he made through illegal actions.
Sam Edwards High Level, Alberta

The Crown is is requesting that Sami Bebawi, a former executive at SNC-Lavalin, pay back the money he made through illegal actions.

According to the Montreal Gazette, the total sum Bebawi owes is $28 million which prosecutors want the court to collect by making Bebawi give up $4.2 million in assets and pay the rest of the $24 million fine.

Bebawi was sentenced to 8.5 years in prison after being found guilty of five charges. The 73-year-old was found guilty last month in crimes related to dealings with Libya’s Gadhafi regime.

Over the course of the trial, it was said that during the corruption Bebawi had taken $28 million and moved it to many bank accounts and a family trust.

On Tuesday, prosecutors made it clear at the Montreal courthouse that $4.2 million in assets has been located and they will attempt to have them forfeited. The request has not been contested by the defence.

Included in the assets are bank accounts and property that Bebawi and his family own. There is property in Montreal, St-Lambert and a condo in Florida which the American government sold for US$1.17 million.

The request will most likely be ruled on in March by Superior Court Justice Guy Cournoyer.

Anne-Marie Manoukian, the Crown prosecutor, noted that if the fine is ordered and Bebawi fails to pay it by the deadline, he will possibly receive more prison time.

Bebawi was found guilty of corruption, fraud and laundering after being the executive vice-president at SNC-Lavalin from 2000 to 2006.

Jurors were told that Bebawi was backing a transfer of around $113 million that was distributed to shell companies. The money was then used to give to people who were able to secure deals in Libya.

The guilty verdict is being appealed by Bebawi and he has been freed from detention for the time being.

Part of the appeal argues that wiretap evidence was wrongly allowed by the presiding judge. From the wiretap came recorded conversations from Constantine Kyres—Bebawi’s lawyer at the time. The conversations revealed that Kyres made an offer of $10 million to a different former SNC-Lavalin executive in an attempt to make him change his testimony.

Conditions of Bebawi’s release forbid him from engaging in any communication with twelve other people—many being former SNC-lavalin executives.

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