MONTREAL - Former NHL enforcer Georges Laraque faces fraud and theft charges for allegedly swindling a synthetic ice-rink distributor as well as a former business partner.
Police in the Montreal suburb of Longueuil served the ex-tough guy with papers earlier this week, informing him that he's charged with five counts.
The 36-year-old Montrealer is scheduled to be arraigned on Nov. 19. He has hired renowned criminal lawyer Pierre Poupart, who represented killer ex-cardiologist Guy Turcotte for the murder of his two children.
"I'm not worried," said the former Canadiens, Oilers and Penguins strongman. "I have nothing to hide, I've cooperated with the investigation and I have witnesses who will deny these allegations. It will be up to a judge to decide, not the Crown."
Laroque is also the deputy leader of the Green Party of Canada, though he does not hold a seat.
The indictment, obtained by QMI Agency, says fraud was committed at the expense of engineer Marc Filion and related companies between 2009 and 2011.
Laraque and Filion, friends since his time with the Canadiens, became partners in 2009 to distribute synthetic ice panels.
Things later turned sour and the two men have been fighting it out in civil court, though Laroque has maintained that he's the victim.
"This is a company that I created with two friends and I'm the only one who invested money," he said.
He filed a $30,000 lawsuit against Filion last year, alleging the businessman used their company's money to pay off a debt. The engineer countersued for $170,000.