The former president of the Private Security Syndicate in Quebec is said to have managed to embezzle more than $ 422,000 of workers’ money, which he allegedly used to buy condominiums and a luxury car.
• Also read: Serial embezzlement among steel workers
• Also read: Investigation for fraud in a trade union
Patrick Pellerin, fired on December 16 by his union and target of a criminal investigation, led as president of Local 8922 of the Steelworkers, affiliated with the FTQ. He ran an association of 16,000 members, earning modest salaries, including security guards and flag bearers.
But until December 2020, he allegedly lined his pockets at the expense of workers through a “sophisticated fraud scheme,” United Steelworkers claims.
He allegedly used his position as union president to give two fake contracts to a company owned by his son’s girlfriend. In particular, he allegedly used the pretext of making a website that never existed.
Eventually, the funds ended up in two of his accounts at Royal Bank, the Steelworkers inform. No less than 80 fraudulent transactions have been entered.
A number of legal documents and notices of seizure, consulted by our Bureau of Investigation, show that the union president would have acquired the following assets thanks to the amounts embezzled:
- An apartment on the edge of the ski slopes in Stoneham, north of Quebec
- Another apartment in Trois-Rivières
- A 2021 Acura TLX luxury sedan
Attempts to liquidate its assets
It was the Sûreté du Québec that warned the union on 15 December by conducting a search.
The next day, Pellerin was fired. Within hours, he put his car up for sale for $ 53,000 on the Kijiji website. A few weeks later, he also brought his Stoneham apartment to market for $ 350,000.
“The attempt to liquidate his valuable assets comes a few days after the search warrant and the discoveries […] fraudulent acts, ”said Vincent Boily, acting president of Local 8922, in an affidavit given to the court.
The union has obtained seizure of its former president’s assets for fear they will be spoiled, especially as Pellerin “uses pseudonyms” to put them up for sale, according to Mr. Boily.
Website not found
In a brief statement of his defense filed in court on May 24, “Pellerin denies having maneuvered to acquire any amount”.
“Both contracts, design and analysis, actually led to services rendered,” he said in writing, assuring that he had “personally” followed up.
According to him, if it is “impossible” to access the website, it is because the spouse of his son, whose company had been awarded the contracts, died on December 25, 2020.
Steps with host GoDaddy, with whom [la petite amie de son fils] did business to host the sites it was designing did not make it possible to get the source code for the site, ”he argues.
“The fact that a WordPress platform was used to design the website makes the task of restoring said source code quite difficult,” also states Pellerin, who is responsible for security of subjects.
Room 8922 by United Steelworkers has been in trust since the dismissal of Patrick Pellerin last December.
Last week, our Bureau of Investigation revealed that four Steelworkers union officers, including Mr Pellerin, had been fired for alleged embezzlement.
“This is theft. We can not tolerate it and we will never tolerate it,” Dominic Lemieux, director of the Steelworkers of Quebec, said in an interview.
CONDO I STONEHAM
CONDO I TROIS-RIVIÈRES
Screenshot of Google Maps
2021 ACURA TLX, IN BLACK COLOR
Photo courtesy, Acura Canada
– In collaboration with Nicolas Brasseur and Frédéric Marcoux
1 Between December 2019 and December 2020, Patrick Pellerin allegedly maneuvered to get the union to pay $ 18,051.05 to Effervescence, the firm of Marie-Claude Châteauneuf, his son’s girlfriend, for setting up a website.
This website “simply never existed”according to Steelworkers.
2 Between January 2019 and December 2020, Pellerin would have maneuvered so the union pays $ 404,305.95 to Effervescence, for the “insurance component of V1 Go”.
The Steel Workers’ Union states that ” These expenses were in no way approved that they did not lead to any service provided ”and that another company, moreover, had been given a mandate by the trade union to supply them.
3 The Sûreté du Québec has determined that between 23 January 2019 and 3 July 2020, there is a total amount of $ 309,434.40 has been transferred in installments from Effervescence’s bank account to two accounts with Patrick Pellerin at Royal Bank.
“While he earned a salary of approx $ 100,000 [Patrick Pellerin] have managed to acquire in as little as two years, thanks to the embezzled amountstwo new buildings […] in addition to getting a new luxury vehicle, ”according to Vincent Boily, the union’s new interim president.
4 Marie-Claude Châteauneuf took her own life on December 25, 2020.
“Before her death” she contacted a counselor to explain to him ” that it was the subject of a fraud orchestrated by [Pellerin] and his son Explains Mr Boily.
The manager then contacted the Sûreté du Québec, which carried out various searches and informed the trade union on 15 December 2021. No criminal charges have been filed to date.
$ 18.78 / hour
Average salary for a security guard
$ 21.41 / hour
Average salary for a traffic signal officer
Source: Indeed.ca, data for Quebec per. June 15, 2022
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