Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Police, Elections Investigators Search Firm Owned by MP del Mastro's Cousin

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Police, Elections Investigators Search Firm Owned by MP del Mastro's Cousin

Article excerpt

Firm of MP's cousin searched in probe

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OTTAWA - Two people who contributed to MP Dean Del Mastro's 2008 election campaign told investigators they were reimbursed at a profit by a company owned by the MP's cousin, court documents show.

The donations were part of an alleged scheme to skirt political financing rules by concealing the fact they were made by a corporate donor.

"It sounded like a good deal," said one contributor whose name was blacked out in the documents released this week.

Another contributor was asked "if friends or family could do this."

The evidence forms part of an ongoing investigation by the Office of the Commissioner of Canada Elections into the activities of Deltro Electric Inc. and its president, David Del Mastro.

Former Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro, who now sits as an Independent, is not a subject of the investigation. No charges have been laid in the case, and the allegations have not been tested in court.

Following legal pressure brought by The Ottawa Citizen, the newspaper that broke the story in 2012, heavily redacted court documents related to a search warrant request were released this week. Investigators, backed by a technical unit of the RCMP, searched the offices of Deltro in Mississauga, Ont., last fall.

Names of those they spoke to were blacked out in the documents for fear of "potential intimidation" by those who "may be charged in the future."

"I believe...that Deltro Electric Ltd., David Del Mastro and/or his staff, encouraged employees or former employees to make donations that would be reimbursed by Deltro Electric and to enlist friends or family to make similar donations," wrote investigator Ronald Lamothe.

Under the Canada Elections Act, it is illegal to make a donation under someone else's name, and corporations are barred from making political contributions.

In addition to receiving a $50 bonus with the reimbursement, those who allegedly participated in the scheme could also apply for a tax credit. …

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