An ex-leader of the Circus suspected in a case of tax fraud

Un ex-dirigeant du Cirque suspecté dans une affaire de fraude fiscale

A former vice-president legal affairs of the Cirque du Soleil is suspected in the vast scheme of alleged tax fraud and money laundering involving the stage director featured in Franco Dragone.

The quebec lawyer Louis Parenteau is on a list of 41 people named by a belgian judge in this case to the end of 2019, has learned our Bureau of investigation.

Recall that Franco Dragone, 67, is accused by the belgian judicial authorities of having cheated, then bleached 19.7 million euro ($30.3 million) from royalties on his plays, including some of the famous Cirque du Soleil.

The prosecution, in Mons, Belgium, has filed charges against him and five other people, has learned at the end of June.

Franco Dragone would have benefited from a complex assembly involving tax havens enabling it to pay very little tax on his income.

british Virgin islands

A company offshore in the british Virgin islands, Canterlo Limited, created at the time when Franco Dragone and Louis Parenteau worked for the Circus in 1998, would be central in the alleged fraud.

Unlike Franco Dragone, Louis Parenteau is not the subject of charges in the case.

A belgian examining judge suspected of, among other Parenteau have created documents to justify, after the fact, transfers of funds between companies of the group Dragone, and to have made himself use.

According to a court document, the belgian authorities finally decided not to bring charges against Parenteau because of the facts that are suspected against him are too old.

Three other Quebecers were on the list of the 41 indicted, but the belgian public prosecutor has determined in their case that there was no need to pursue. One of them is a former partner of Ernst & Young in Montreal, Jim Haiman (see other text).

Ten years in the Circus

Louis Parenteau has worked in the Circus as executive vice president of legal and corporate affairs for a dozen years. He became chairman of the group Dragone at the beginning of the years 2000 until 2008.

He did not respond to calls and an e-mail.

In a press release that he sent us, the director, Franco Dragone ensures the have nothing to apologize for.

“I deny in all respects the facts of a fiscal nature which to me are alleged by the prosecution. […] I will answer point by point as soon as the belgian law will enable me to do “, we have-t-he writes. He refused an interview request.

Links with mysterious firms in Virgin islands

Louis Parenteau was traded with at least two firms offshore while he was working for Franco Dragone, according to the documents consulted.


Louis Parenteau was named president of the firm of Franco Dragone in Belgium.

May 15, 2006

The company Lupa International is incorporated in the british Virgin islands. According to the belgian magazine Le Vif, Louis Parenteau is the only beneficiary of this company and it is used to collect revenue for a show of Franco Dragone, Le Rêve, in Las Vegas.

May 16, 2006

Another company offshore, Lina International, related to the firm Canterlo (central in the alleged fraud), is incorporated.


Louis Parenteau separates from Franco Dragone and sold his shares in the group. It provides a balance of price of sale to Lina International.

April 1, 2011

Promissory notes totaling $ 18.5 million were issued to Louis Parenteau from a numbered company related to a company by the name of Lupa’s Productions in Quebec

May 17, 2011

The company Lupa International is liquidated to the Virgin islands by Jim Haiman


Franco Dragone and Louis Parenteau, in particular, are the subject of a criminal investigation for “tax offences international serious and organised” and ” money-laundering “, according to The Bright


Louis Parenteau transfers in a trust, the Trust’s heritage Louis Parenteau, the sum of $ 33.2 million and amounts due by Lina International, among others.

Two data properties to a trust

Two properties acquired by Louis Parenteau in Outremont and lac-Brome, in Estrie, have been transferred to a trust that bears his name in 2015.

The former vice-president legal affairs of the Cirque du Soleil, Louis Parenteau, has completed the acquisition of two homes in posh, by paying in cash after having worked with Franco Dragone in Belgium, according to notarized documents.

In 2009, he purchased a house in lake Brome in the eastern Townships, for 617 000 dollars.

In 2012, he acquired a house in the borough of Outremont for 1.18 million dollars.

In 2015, the two properties posh have been given to a trust name of Trust Louis Parenteau.


The two co-trustees of this trust are Louis Parenteau and Jim Haiman.

The two have been suspected in the folder of Franco Dragone, without, however, being accused.

Franco Dragone, Director

Neither of them wanted to comment.

The deed of trust contains a clause according to which the assets of the trust are ” elusive “.

“These provisions […] are justified by a serious and legitimate interest to restrict the eligibility to become a beneficiary [in the trust] “, indicates a document is consulted.

It should be noted that houses have been given in may 2015, at a time when several other assets were given to the Trust Louis Parenteau, of which $ 33 million of the amounts owed by a corporation offshore to Parenteau and actions of a numbered company in quebec.

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