OTTAWA, January 27, 2012 — Following an investigation by the Competition Bureau, seven individuals have pleaded guilty to criminal charges for conspiring to fix the price of gasoline at the pump in Thetford Mines, Quebec.
Two of the accused, Gary Neiderer and Fabien Chouinard are territorial managers employed by Sonic. They were sentenced today to fines of $3,000 and $4,000 respectively. The other five accused are service stations owners. Jacques Blais and Louis Blais operated under the Shell banner. Luc Fecteau, Yvan Grondin and Jacques Robert operated under the Esso banner. The five owners were each sentenced to fines of $5,000.
Charges were laid in June 2008 and July 2010 against 38 individuals and 14 companies for fixing the price of gas at pumps in Victoriaville, Thetford Mines, Magog and Sherbrooke, Quebec. As of today, 21 individuals and six companies have pleaded guilty in this case, with fines totalling over $2.8 million. Of the 21 individuals who have pleaded guilty, six have been sentenced to terms of imprisonment totalling 54 months.
Additional information on past convictions and fines related to this cartel can be found on the Bureau's website.
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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