Georges Laraque, deputy leader of the Green Party,
Credits: ETIENNE LABERGE/QMI AGENCY
MONTREAL - Ex-NHL enforcer and current Green Party deputy leader Georges Laraque has been fired from a business project under a cloud of fraud allegations.
Laraque and former business partner, Montreal-based engineer Marc Filion, formed a company called Super-Glide Canada in 2009 to distribute synthetic ice panels produced by a Florida-based company called Global Synthetic Ice.
Each are accusing the other of stealing from the company, and told QMI Agency separately they are preparing lawsuits against the other.
Laraque said he ventured into synthetic ice because it was a "green product."
The ice requires less maintenance and chemicals than a natural ice surface, he said.
Laraque, who played 13 years in the NHL, has a host of business interests as well as being the deputy leader for the Green Party of Canada.
His personal website showcases several of the products and companies of which he is involved including a juice extractor called Juice Xtra, and a vegetarian restaurant chain called Crudessence.
He is also a sports analyst for TVA Sports, the French-language sports station owned by Quebecor, which also owns QMI Agency and the Sun Media chain.
Laraque's website for the synthetic ice product stopped working Monday.
Perry Boskus, president of Global Synthetic Ice, wrote in a news release Monday that he dropped Laraque as his Canadian distributor due to "allegations of fraud made by (Laraque's) business partner Marc Filion."
Boskus told QMI in an interview that between 2009 and 2012, Laraque was losing money for the company.
Boskus alleged that Laraque sold a synthetic ice rink without the knowledge of the head office and pocketed the cash.
However, Laraque alleges that the head office discarded the panels and they were his to sell.
Boskus also blames Laraque for a botched ice rink sale in Alberta that Boskus claims cost his company $43,000.
Boskus said he doesn't plan to press charges. "I don't like courts," he said. "I just kinda want to move on. We never had any losses before; we've only lost money with George."
Laraque has denied all charges and said he's the real victim in this dispute.
The former scrapper said he called Montreal police in April to accuse Filion of taking money from their company to pay off a personal debt to Global Synthetic Ice.
"I'm the one who initiated the fraud investigation and the civil suit (against Filion)," he said. "I'm the one who went to the police."
Boskus is just upset that he challenged Filion's debt payment to the Florida head office, Laraque said.
Montreal police were not able to confirm on Monday if officers opened a fraud investigation against Filion, and none of the allegations have been proven in court.
Filion did not want to go on record about details of the case. However, he confirmed he was planning to counter-sue the former Montreal Canadiens bruiser.
Laraque said that he is not bothered by his former partner's counter-suit or the fact that Boskus removed him as Canadian distributor.
"Look, I don't threaten people," he said. "I work on T.V., I have restaurants, I'm a busy guy. I was only selling (the synthetic ice) part-time. There are so many other companies that sell the product; I'll just join another one if I want to continue."