By November 8, 2017 Read More →

Irving pleads guilty in Quebec gasoline cartel case

Irving Oil

Irving Oil refinery

Investigation resulted in charges against 39 individuals and 15 companies in 2008, 2010 and 2012

Irving Oil Limited pleaded guilty today to one count of retail price maintenance in the gasoline industry in Thetford Mines and Sherbrooke (Quebec) and will pay a $287,583 fine, according to a Government of Canada press release.

The announcement comes only days after Irving Oil pleaded guilty to 34 offences in one of the worst rail disasters in Canadian history after a train carrying oil exploded in Lac Megantic, Quebec. Forty-two people were confirmed dead, with five more missing and presumed dead.

The guilty plea for retail price maintenance relates to the Competition Act that was in force before the 2009 amendments. Among other things, these amendments decriminalized price maintenance conduct under the Act.

Price maintenance may occur when a supplier prevents a retailer from selling a product below a minimum price by means of a threat, promise or agreement.

irving oil

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The decision to accept this guilty plea was taken independently by the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC).

The PPSC makes all decisions regarding the laying of charges, whether a prosecution should take place or a settlement should occur.

It follows a wider Bureau investigation that resulted in charges being laid against 39 individuals and 15 companies in 2008, 2010 and 2012 for their role in a gasoline price­ fixing conspiracy in Victoriaville, Magog, Thetford Mines and Sherbrooke.

To date, 33 individuals and eight companies have pleaded or were found guilty with fines totalling over $4 million. Of the 33 individuals who have pleaded or were found guilty, six have been sentenced to terms of imprisonment totalling 54 months.

Further criminal proceedings relating to this investigation are scheduled in the coming months, according to the press release.

Posted in: Canada

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