OTTAWA, June 13, 2013 — The Competition Bureau announced today that a criminal charge has been laid against an individual accused of bid-rigging for federal government contracts in Canada under the Competition Act.
The Bureau's investigation uncovered evidence that Mr. Louis Facchini, carrying on business as First Porter Consultancy, was allegedly involved in an agreement to rig bids for real estate advisory services in Canada.
Mr. Facchini also faces one count of fraud under the Criminal Code for allegedly submitting a false invoice with a value exceeding $5,000 to Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC).
Today's charges stem from an investigation launched in May 2009, after the Bureau was contacted by PWGSC.
As part of the same investigation, the Corporate Research Group Ltd. (CRG) pleaded guilty to a criminal charge of bid-rigging for federal government contracts for real estate advisory services in Canada, and was fined $125,000 on July 30, 2012. CRG cooperated with the Bureau's investigation and the Bureau recommended that CRG receive lenient treatment in return.
On February 15, 2007, PWGSC issued a Request for Standing Offers (RFSO) for real estate advisory services. CRG admitted that its representatives and Mr. Facchini submitted bids, in response to the RFSO, that were arrived at by an agreement that was not disclosed to PWGSC.
Under the Immunity Program and Leniency Program, the first parties to disclose to the Bureau an offence not yet detected or to provide evidence leading to the filing of charges may receive immunity or lenient treatment from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), provided that the parties fully cooperate with the Bureau and the DPP.
Cracking down on cartels, including bid-rigging offences, is a top priority for the Bureau. Under the Competition Act, it is a criminal offence for two or more bidders, in response to a call or request for bids or tenders, to agree among themselves on the bids submitted, to agree that one party will refrain from bidding or to agree to withdraw a submitted bid, without informing the person calling for the bids of this agreement.
The Competition Bureau, as an independent law enforcement agency, ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace.
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