Thursday, March 31, 2022

Maple syrup thief fined $9.1 million

Richard Vallières has been fined $9.1 million by the Supreme Court of Canada for stealing maple syrup from the producer organization’s warehouse in 2012.

He has also had to pay $830,000 in fees to the maple syrup association.

In a unanimous decision the Supreme Court said he must pay a fine equal to the value of the stolen syrup, not just equal to the $1million profit he made from it that was the fine imposed by Quebec’s Court of Appeal.

He has 10 years to pay the fine.

Vallières was found guilty in 2016 of fraud, trafficking and theft of 9,500 barrels of syrup between 2011 and 2012 from a warehouse in Saint-Louis-de-Blandford, Que.

The stolen syrup was worth more than $18 million, but Vallières said during his trial that he had sold it for $10 million and made a $1-million profit.

"Distinguishing between an offender's income and expenses in order to determine the offender's profit margin would essentially amount to legitimating criminal activity," the Supreme Court ruling said.