Supreme Court of Canada to hear the maple syrup heist case

Police recovered vehicles, electronic lifts and seized a warehouse in St-Louis-de-Blandford, Que.

The Supreme Court of Canada will hear the case of the 2012 maple syrup heist.

The highest court in the country accepted the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions' (DPCP) request for authorization to appeal the decision of the Quebec Court of Appeal to reduce the fine issued to one of the thieves: Richard Vallieres.

Vallieres was found guilty of fraud, trafficking and theft of 9,500 barrels of maple syrup between 2011 and 2012 in a Fédération des producteurs acéricoles warehouse in Saint-Louis-de-Blandford, in the Quebec City region. The stolen sap was worth around $18 million.

The Quebec Superior Court first ordered Vallieres to pay nearly $10 million in compensatory fines over 10 years, and the Court of Appeal then lowered the fine to $1 million. By removing the restitution order, the amount owed was only $171,397.

The highest court in the land will have to determine whether the Court of Appeal erred in reviewing the amount of the victim fine.

The maple syrup theft required the mobilization of significant resources from the province's provincial police: the Surete du Quebec.

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

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