Friday, October 14, 2005

Adscam: Kick The Tires

Sponsorship program boss Chuck Guité and adman beneficiary Jean Brault were doing big business with each other even after Guité retired from the public service, according to Gomery inquiry testimony unsealed today:

After Mr. Guité retired from the civil service in August, 1999, he set up a private consulting firm, Oro Communications. The inquiry has already heard that lobbyists and ad executives once involved in the sponsorship program paid for Mr. Guité's post-retirement services, to a total of $1-million.

Now it can reported that Mr. Brault was among those who paid Mr. Guité.

The sums Mr. Brault gave Mr. Guité included $136,532 in retainer, from 1999 to 2002.

Also, in 1997, after Mr. Guité purchased a red Ford Mustang, Mr. Brault arranged for him to get fancier tires for his new sports car from Pirelli, one of his clients. The cost of the tires was expensed as a sponsorship invoice for $1,356.

Eventually, Mr. Brault, also a car aficionado who owned a Porsche, bought Mr. Guité's Mustang for $35,000.

Another perk for Mr. Guité was that while he visited Montreal, he would use a parking spot at Groupaction's offices, then located in a chic downtown area.

In addition, in April, 2001, Mr. Brault loaned Mr. Guité $25,000 to help him buy a boat.

A set of fancy whitewalls isn't the most egregiously fraudulent expense claimed against the taxpayers in this whole sorry mess. Neither was David Dingwall's pack of gum.

But it's the little things that upset people most of all because they can relate to them.

Few people without a forensic accounting background would understand exactly why to be outraged by the creative bookkeeping in Adscam, other than that taxpayers' money ended up in the wrong peoples' pockets. Nor would they much care about possible violations of lobbying regulations.

But most people have bought tires for their car, and have felt the pinch in their pocketbook. They'd be upset to find out that they also paid to pimp Chuck Guité's ride.

Source: Globe and Mail

1 comment:

bob said...

Oro communications. Oro = Spanish for gold. Guite knew how to name 'em, eh?