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|Tuesday September 20, 2005|
|The first person to be criminally convicted in the federal sponsorship scandal won't have to pay for his abuses by going to jail. Instead, in one of his main acts of penitence, he will have to speak out publicly about business ethics and the story of his downfall.
Paul Coffin, the Montreal ad executive who admitted to defrauding the federal government of $1.55-million in ad contracts, was sentenced yesterday to two years less a day, to be served in the community.
His conditions include a 9 p.m. weekday curfew, giving up his Canadian passport and addressing the public on one of the topics at the heart of the sponsorship scandal: ethics in the business world.
His first public act of contrition comes next week when he addresses 180 students at McGill University.
Several business schools in Montreal have also accepted his offer to address students about the error of his ways.
Mr. Coffin, 63, stood stone-faced while hearing his sentence in Quebec Superior Court, then swept past reporters without comment.
In granting a community sentence, Mr. Justice Jean-Guy Boilard accepted the recommendation of Mr. Coffin's lawyers, who raised his clean record and expressions of remorse as mitigating factors.
|Coffin avoids prison for ad fraud|
Letter to the Editor
I have to say your cartoon so hit proverbial the nail on the head! It illustrates so clearly the way our system operates; you can get away with anything as long as you know people in high places! Or you are male and in high places( witness Martha Steward for example.) It has to infuriate those who work hard to bring these people to justice when they are let off with a tap on the wrist. It used up so much of the country's money to have that committee flush those people out of their secure holes ,and what for? What good was an inquiry with no teeth? Cases like this and what's happening at the Stelco case eat up money that could be going to worthwhile projects in this country. How can we expect the ordinary citizen to respect the government and not gleefully rip it off whenever possible?
Ms. V. MacDonald