MONTREAL — Elio Pagliarulo and Paolo Catania were once best of friends, spending holidays together and socializing regularly at dinners and parties. Then their loan-sharking business went sour, Mr. Pagliarulo told a public inquiry Monday, and in 2008 he found himself blindfolded in the back of a van, blows raining down on his face.
“Paolo wants his money soon,” his attackers said. In case the message was not clear enough, he testified, someone left funeral floral arrangements around the home where his ex-wife and children lived.
It has been four years, and with the help of reconstructive surgery the injuries from that beating have healed. On Monday, Mr. Pagliarulo exacted his own form of revenge.
He laid bare the alleged close mob connections of the Catania family, owners of one of Quebec’s biggest construction firms, and testified that they had corrupted Montreal officials, right up to the former right-hand man of Mayor Gérald Tremblay.