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Elder Rizzuto pleads guilty to tax evasion

Convicted Montreal crime boss Nicolo Rizzuto leaves a Montreal prison Thursday, Oct. 16, 2008. Nicolo Rizzuto, the 84-year-old father of the man reputed to be the godfather of the Montreal Mafia, has been given a suspended sentence after previously pleading guilty to two criminal charges. Nicolo will be on probation for three years after being sentenced in Montreal today. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

GRAHAM HIGHES/The Canadian Press

Reputed crime patriarch Nicolo Rizzuto stood before a Quebec Court judge Thursday morning and pleaded guilty to tax evasion.

The 85-year-old was fined $209, 200 in a case that was over in a matter of minutes.

Mr. Rizzuto is the father of reputed Mafia boss Vito Rizzuto, who is in jail, and the grandfather of the recently slain Nick Rizzuto.

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The senior Mr. Rizzuto was aided during the court proceeding by an Italian-speaking interpreter. After the brief appearance, he walked past a wall of reporters and ignored requests to make a comment.

Mr. Rizzuto was in court on charges he failed to declare $728,000 in interest revenues on $5-million in Swiss bank accounts. In court filings, the government alleged Mr. Rizzuto was the real owner of the millions deposited in three bank accounts in Lugano, Switzerland, by Libertina Rizzuto, his wife, and other people acting as fronts.

Mr. Rizzuto is on probation for possession of proceeds of crime.

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About the Author

Ingrid Peritz has been a Montreal-based correspondent for The Globe and Mail since 1998. Her reporting on the plight of Canadians suffering from the damaging effects of the drug thalidomide helped victims obtain federal compensation and earned The Globe and Mail a National Newspaper Award, Canadian Journalism Foundation award, and the Michener Award for public service. More

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