A major electricity theft network, present in at least three regions of Quebec and using the stolen identities of innocent people, was dismantled yesterday after an investigation by Hydro-Quebec.
The police services of the cities of Montreal and Longueuil proceeded yesterday morning to the arrest of five members of the same network, accused of theft of electricity worth $ 300,000. Together, they face twenty counts of fraud, conspiracy and identity theft.
The head of this network is Mario Brousseau, 59, known to police circles. The former owner of Montreal buildings, transformed into drugstores and brothels, was arrested yesterday in his residence in Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville.
Her children, Simon Brousseau-Ouellette, 31, and Caroline Brousseau-Trudel, 21, were also arrested. The latter is considered an accomplice in this affair, along with Nancy Arseneault, 34, and Daniel Sousan, 31, also accused.
A $ 300,000 scheme
Manager of a portfolio of 28 properties, the group rented – with electricity costs included – a total of 38 rooms and apartments, in the territories of Montreal, Montérégie and Lanaudière.
In order to avoid paying their electricity bills, the defendants used the personal information of third parties – without their knowledge – and made them responsible for the electricity accounts.
Hydro-Québec spokesperson Louis-Olivier Batty maintains that it was impossible for a representative of the crown corporation to spot cases of fraud, given that the names and information provided were true.
The scheme ultimately benefited its fraudsters for at least five years before Hydro managed to present the case to the police. Hydro-Quebec estimates its losses per theft between $ 20 million and $ 70 million per year.