Top 100 solution provider and IBM tied to corruption scheme

Update 2: Informatique EBR president has gone on record to sheds new light on corruption allegations following initial arrests.  Since then, the final suspect, an IBM employee has been arrested by UPAC.

Update: IBM Canada has issued the following statement.

“IBM is committed to the principles of business ethics and lawful conduct. We will continue to cooperate fully with local authorities investigating this matter.”

CDN also contacted a prominent Quebec City-based solution provider who requested anonymity but said this news about Informatique EBR hurts all resellers in Quebec specifically those who are doing business with the government.  He said that he is not surprised about the raids and added that these arrests didn’t happen by chance.

Original story continues below.

The vice president of sales at Informatique EBR Inc., a Quebec City-based IT solutions provider, and IBM employees were arrested this morning in connection with a corruption scheme involving a government IT contract worth $24 million.

According to initial reports and a statement from Informatique EBR, Jean-François Robidas, the vice president of sales for EBR, was arrested along with three IBM employees, Patrick Fortin, Gilles Gariépy and Daniel Letourneau and two Revenue Quebec employees, Hamid Iatmanene and Jamal El Khaiat on suspicion of exchanging privileged information on a contract to supply Revenue Quebec with data management technology.

IBM and EBR are alleged to have used the information to design their bid before the call for submissions was made public.

According to the CBC report, Quebec’s anti-corruption squad, UPAC carried out raids in several homes in Montreal and Quebec City early Wednesday.  They are still seeking one other suspect.

EBR has since released a statement saying that its president, Denis Blais, was surprised by this morning’s arrest.

“Furthermore, it is important to remember that, in the words of the captain of UPAC, André Boulanger, the employee would have acted without the company being aware of the scheme,” the company said. “The corruptions have been committed in his personal interests and not that of the company.”

In 2013, Informatique EBR placed 26th on the CDN Top 100 Solution Providers list, reporting revenues between $50-75 million dollars.  Last year, the company declined to participate in the rankings.

The story is developing.  Check back with CDN for more coverage.

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Dave Yin
Dave Yin
Digital Staff Writer at Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel.

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