Maple syrup cans are seen at a sugar shack on February 10, 2017 in Oka, Quebec. Canada’s highest court says one of the men behind the infamous 2012 maple syrup heist in Quebec will have to pay a $9.1-million dollar fine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Maple syrup cans are seen at a sugar shack on February 10, 2017 in Oka, Quebec. Canada’s highest court says one of the men behind the infamous 2012 maple syrup heist in Quebec will have to pay a $9.1-million dollar fine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Supreme Court restores $9.1-million fine for Quebec maple syrup thief

Court says Quebec’s Court of Appeal was wrong to reduce fine to $1 million in 2012 theft

Canada’s highest court says one of the men behind the notorious 2012 maple syrup heist in Quebec will have to pay a $9.1-million fine.

In a unanimous decision today, the Supreme Court of Canada said Richard Vallières must pay a fine equal to the value of the stolen syrup — not just equal to the profit he made from it.

The Supreme Court says Quebec’s Court of Appeal was wrong to reduce his fine to $1 million.

Vallieres was found guilty in 2016 of fraud, trafficking and theft of 9,500 barrels of syrup between 2011 and 2012 from a central Quebec warehouse storing product from the province’s maple syrup producers.

The stolen syrup was worth more than $18 million, but Vallières said during his trial that he had sold it for $10 million and made a $1-million profit.

The Supreme Court says Vallières has 10 years to pay the fine, failing which he will serve six years in prison.

It reduced Vallieres’ $10-million fine by about $830,000, the amount he owed to the federation of syrup producers under a separate court order.

—The Canadian Press

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Law and justice

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