Former Hudson DG sentenced to 30 month jail term
PHOTO BY CARMEN MARIE FABIO
Louise Leger-Villandré was sentenced to 30 months for defrauding the Town of Hudson $1.1 million.
An unrepentant Louise Leger-Villandré was sentenced to 30 months in jail today, February 22, for defrauding the Town of Hudson $1.1 million over a period of 17 years.
“Quel beau gâchis,” said Judge Michel Mercier decrying the messy situation Leger-Villandré created after her initial arrest on 19 charges in October, 2014 and her subsequent guilty plea in December, 2015 to six counts of fraud, breach of trust, and using forged documents.
“A person who had a position of responsibility…“ Mercier continued addressing Leger-Villandré as she stood before him, “and you did this for a very long time.”
Leger-Villandré was led away by court constables towing a large red suitcase family members had brought to the courthouse.
Hudson Director General Jean-Pierre Roy was in attendance at the Valleyfield Courthouse as was former Interim Mayor Diane Piacente.
“The sentence follows legal jurisprudence,” said Crown Prosecutor Mathieu Longpré. “It’s a normal sentence in these circumstances.” Longpré said the court took into account the amount of the fraud and Leger-Villandré’s age – 66 – in considering the ultimate sentence. The maximum sentence for a fraud case is 14 years. At one point during her four-decade career in the town, Leger-Villandré held the position of Treasurer, Town Clerk, and Director General, drawing salaries for each.
“She cooperated with the investigation,” defense lawyer Robert La Haye told Judge Mercier before the sentence. “And she has shown remorse.”
Roy’s opinion on the latter claim differed as he told Your Local Journal, “She seems to have no regrets.”
Leger-Villandré, who has formerly told the court she now resides in Rigaud, will be eligible to apply for parole after serving one-sixth of her sentence, or a total of five months.
“I think the judge had to send a message to society that stealing from taxpayers, especially while in a position of trust, will not be tolerated,” said Piacente. “This woman did irreparable harm to her town. She was entrusted with managing taxpayers’ money but jumped at the opportunity to enrich herself instead.” Piacente said the stolen funds could, and should, have been spent on improving the lives of the residents.
She further urged all taxpayers and elected officials to ask questions if they feel something isn’t right to prevent this type of embezzlement from happening in the future.
“What really sticks in my mind is her family,” Piacente concluded following the sentencing. “It’s an incredibly sad situation.”