Former Ottawa tech employee sentenced for role in bid-rigging scheme

A former employee of an Ottawa-based tech company has been sentenced for her role in a bid-rigging scheme that saw her former company, Microtime, awarded millions of dollars in federal contracts.

As part of a plea deal, Linda Graham has received an 18-month conditional sentence. The first six months will be served under house arrest.

Ms. Graham was also fined $20,000 and ordered to perform 90 hours of community service. She has also committed to speak out about her role in the conspiracy.

“Having cartel participants share their personal experience is an innovative way to promote compliance,” Matthew Boswell, the senior deputy commissioner of competition at the Competition Bureau, said in a release. “I have no doubt that Ms. Graham’s real, first-hand testimony about the realities of participating in a cartel scheme and then facing the criminal justice system will help deter others from engaging in similar illegal activities.”

It’s the first time someone convicted under the Competition Act has agreed to help the Competition Bureau promote compliance with the law.

Ms. Graham was one of six people charged in the bid-rigging scheme after an investigation by the Competition Bureau.

The federal law enforcement agency says the group – which it describes as a “cartel” – illegally conspired to ensure that Microtime was awarded $3.5 million in contracts by Library and Archives Canada between April and September 2009.

The “cartel” included the owner of Microtime, John Cassandra, and two employees, Ms. Graham and Stephen Forgie, who pleaded guilty to bid-rigging in 2015.

Charges under the competition act are still pending against Microtime and Mr. Cassandra.

The bureau says the “cartel” also included three civil servants who were charged under the Financial Administration Act, accused of providing another person the opportunity to defraud the government.