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Quebec’s securities regulator was cleared of conflict of interest allegations Monday after an independent audit in connection with the body’s investigation of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.

Mario Bilodeau, appointed by the province in April, says a probe by the Autorité des marchés financiers into SNC-Lavalin executives was “adequate” and that his “conclusions invalidate the allegations of public wrongdoing.”

The audit was launched after allegations in a Quebec newspaper – which cited two anonymous former employees of the financial watchdog – that their colleagues had “closed their eyes” to parts of the probe.

Dubbed Project Falcon, the regulator’s investigation examined financial documents and transactions carried out by some SNC-Lavalin managers, including Michael Novak, spouse of former Quebec Liberal justice minister Kathleen Weil, between 2011 and 2012 after suspicions of “possible accounting malpractice and insider trading,” Mr. Bilodeau said.

The watchdog’s senior director of investigations, Frédéric Pérodeau, was named in the allegations. Media reports say the lawyer by training had provided counsel to SNC-Lavalin between 2010 and 2012, and later oversaw the probe into his previous employer.

A total of 32 people were interviewed as part of Mr. Bilodeau’s audit, which concluded Mr. Pérodeau was not in a conflict of interest and that “the Authority can be proud of the way all the professionals have accomplished their tasks and respected their duties.”

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