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Supreme Court agrees to hear case involving fine for massive maple syrup heist

Last Updated Sep 24, 2020 at 12:16 pm MDT

Maple syrup cans are seen at a sugar shack Friday, February 10, 2017 in Oka, Quebec. The Quebec Maple Syrup Producers says they set a new record for maple syrup production this year. The producers say this year's harvest is estimated at more than 175 million pounds of maple syrup for all of Quebec, an average yield of 3.59 pounds per tap. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada has agreed to hear a case involving the fine imposed on one of the ringleaders of a massive maple syrup heist.

Richard Vallieres was found guilty of fraud, trafficking in stolen goods and theft after more than 9,500 barrels of maple syrup, valued at $18 million, were stolen from a Quebec warehouse in 2011 and 2012.

Vallieres was initially ordered to pay $10 million in fines and compensation within 10 years because the stolen goods couldn’t be recovered.

The Quebec Court of Appeal later ruled that was excessive and lowered the fine to $1 million.

Quebec prosecutors appealed that decision to the Supreme Court, which today agreed to hear the case.

More than 20 people were arrested in connection with the theft, and searches were conducted in Quebec, New Brunswick, Ontario and the United States.

Three people, including Vallieres, were found guilty. Vallieres was sentenced to eight years in prison in 2017 but his sentence was to be extended if the fine wasn’t paid.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 24, 2020

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press