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Report on Business Caisse suspends executive Martine Gaudreault over partner’s alleged links to organized crime

Canadian pension fund manager Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec has suspended an executive following the publication of a newspaper story questioning her partner’s links to a reputed Montreal organized crime family.

The Montreal-based pension fund said Tuesday it suspended Martine Gaudreault, a vice-president working with Otéra Capital, a Caisse subsidiary active in commercial real estate financing. It said it became aware of allegations related to Ms. Gaudreault Monday and that it takes these “very seriously.”

“For the Caisse, integrity is a non-negotiable principle on which we will not compromise,” the pension fund said in a statement.

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The Caisse said it has launched an internal probe into the case, overseen by an outside lawyer. The lawyer’s findings will be made public, the pension fund said.

Quebecor Inc.'s Journal de Montréal tabloid published a front-page story Tuesday featuring what it said was a photo of Ms. Gaudreault under the headline “Liaison Dangereuse à la Caisse” or “Dangerous Liaison at the Caisse.”

The story by the newspaper’s investigations team said the executive is romantically involved with Alain Cormier, a man it said was in business with two members of Montreal’s Rizzuto family between 2008 and 2012. One of the family members named is Leonardo Rizzuto, the son of the late mafia don Vito Rizzuto.

The newspaper said Ms. Gaudreault and Mr. Cormier were also business partners. Reached by the newspaper for comment, Ms. Gaudreault said she had nothing to say, according to the tabloid’s version of events.

Ms. Gaudreault did not immediately return a call from The Globe and Mail requesting comment.

The Caisse manages the nest eggs for thousands of retirees including Quebec civil servants. It held assets worth $308-billion as of the end of June, 2018.

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