Monday, June 24, 2024

Canada’s Supreme Court says $9.1-million fine for theft of maple syrup sticks

Canada’s top court has imposed a $9.1-million CDN fine on a man behind one of the country’s stickiest crimes – the theft of 3,000 tonnes of maple syrup.

The so-called Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist saw the loss of nearly $18 million worth of syrup from the country’s reserves by a group of thieves.

The court ordered Richard Vallières, a “major player” in the scheme, to pay a penalty or face six years in prison.

Vallières was found guilty in 2016 of fraud, trafficking, and theft. He is serving an eight-year prison sentence.

At trial, Vallières said he sold the syrup for $10 million, and made a personal profit of around $1 million.

In a unanimous decision on Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled that Vallières should pay a penalty equal to the value of the stolen goods within a decade. The ruling overturns a decision by the Quebec Court of Appeal to reduce his fine to just $1 million – equivalent to what Vallières says he pocketed.

The Quebec Maple Syrup Producers – the so-called OPEC of maple syrup – holds an emergency reserve of the product to help meet global supply in years of poor harvests. The Canadian province produces almost three-quarters of the world’s maple syrup.

Between 2011 and 2012, Vallières and the group of thieves targeted a central Quebec warehouse where the product is stockpiled, often replacing the syrup in the barrels with water.

The thieves went on to distribute the stolen syrup throughout Canada and the U.S.

The theft was discovered in 2012 during a routine survey when an inspector climbed on a stack of maple syrup barrels – which typically weigh some 270 kilograms (595 lbs) – and one nearly tipped over. It was empty.


BIG Media
BIG Media
Our focus is on facts, accurate data, and logical interpretation. Our only agenda is the truth.

BIG Wrap

Russia, Ukraine trade air attacks as Moscow blames U.S. for beach strike

(Al Jazeera Media Network) Russia and Ukraine traded attacks which resulted in casualties overnight and into Sunday, officials from both sides say. At least five people...

Millions of students at risk of being affected by Indian elite exam scam

(Al Jazeera Media Network) India’s top examinations for admissions into medical schools and research programs have come under unprecedented scrutiny amid mounting evidence of corruption...