NEWS

SNC-Lavalin former exec Sami Bebawi to appear on fraud charges

02/12/2015 05:54 EST | Updated 04/14/2015 05:59 EDT
A former executive from engineering giant SNC-Lavalin, Sami Bebawi, is scheduled to appear in court Friday morning on charges of fraud and bribery of foreign officials, in an alleged scheme involving the Montreal-based company's international construction operations.

Bebawi, who turned himself into the RCMP Thursday morning in Toronto after flying in from Egypt, had been wanted on an international arrest warrant.

Court documents unsealed in 2013 show RCMP investigators believe Bebawi may have siphoned as much as $120 million from SNC-Lavalin in a complex scheme of fraudulent payments to third-party companies.

Those allegations have yet to be tested in court.

In 2013, the RCMP moved to freeze several of Bebawi's assets, including four bank accounts, a family trust, six properties in Montreal and a condominium in Clearwater, Florida.

Bebawi's Canadian lawyer, Alexandre Bergevin, said his client wanted to return home to Canada to clear his name.

Bergevin said Bebawi is to be released on $100,000 after his court appearance in Montreal, in a deal already negotiated with Canadian authorities.

Bebawi was an executive vice-president in charge of construction at SNC-Lavalin from 2001 to 2006.

His successor was Riadh Ben Aissa, who is himself facing fraud-related charges in connection with a scandal involving the construction of the new McGill University Health Centre (MUHC).

Bebawi's charges are not related to the MUHC affair.

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