Former Montreal mayor Michael Applebaum was sentenced to 12 months in prison and two years’ probation on March 30 after being found guilty of corruption-related charges in January.
Quebec Court Judge Louise Provost, in handing down her decision, said Applebaum had committed “very serious” crimes over a number of years.
The prosecution had recommended that he serve two years behind bars. Applebaum’s lawyer wanted nothing harsher than weekend jail time and house arrest lasting no more than 15 months. He had faced a maximum five-year sentence.
After hearing the sentence, Applebaum told the judge, “I can guarantee you and my family that I will be a better person when I come out.
“Since my arrest, I haven’t been able to work and put food on the table for my family… I have a remarkable family, and I will again put food on the table and make a life.”
Applebaum, 54, who served as interim mayor from November 2012 to June 2013, when he was arrested, was found guilty of eight fraud and breach of trust charges. Six other charges were either dismissed or stayed.
The crimes, stemming from the extortion of cash bribes totalling about $60,000 in exchange for favourable municipal decisions sought by real estate developers and an engineering firm, were committed earlier, while he was borough mayor of Côte des Neiges-Notre Dame de Grâce between 2006 and 2012.
At Applebaum’s sentencing hearing in February, his rabbi, Rabbi Alan Bright of Shaare Zedek Congregation, pleaded for leniency, describing him as a broken man who had contemplated suicide.
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