A Montreal man who died in a fire in the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough on Saturday was a construction entrepreneur who was recently released from jail after serving time for tax fraud.
Rocco Carbone, along with another man and the four companies they operated, was fined $2.7 million for tax fraud in November 2018 following a probe by Quebec’s anti-corruption unit into maintenance contracts for “emergency work” at the McGill University Health Centre.
Carbone, 70, was also sentenced to 18 months in jail. He was convicted in November 2018 of having filed false claims to obtain tax refunds.
He was in a duplex on Henri-Julien Ave. near Roy St. Saturday morning when the house was engulfed in flames about 5 a.m. He died later in hospital. About 20 people living in adjacent residences were forced out of their homes as 100 firefighters battled the four-alarm fire.
The Montreal police arson squad was called into investigate, but a police spokesperson said it looks like the fire was an accident because there was no trace of an accelerant. Firefighters were not able to determine whether there was a working smoke detector in the house. The fire started in the rear of the home, said Montreal police spokesperson Jean-Pierre Brabant.
Carbone and fellow accused Sandro Carbone were charged after a series of raids by UPAC in 2015 in connection with a suspected scheme by a small group of contractors to steer maintenance contracts their way. In many cases, the contracts were for “emergency work” that allowed the tender process to be avoided.