Because it’s hard not to look at a trainwreck…

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08/13/2010

Do we really cover guard firms here at Security Systems News? No. We try not to. Only when they intersect with the installation of security technology.

However, the trainwreck that is BCIA, a guard firm in Montreal that has spectacularly exploded, is pretty hard to pass up.

As is popular in the movies nowadays, I’ll start at the end, with news coming yesterday that BCIA’s president, Luigi Coretti, has had his $700,000 home confiscated by authorities.

You have surely bollocksed things up royally when a judge orders your home confiscated.

So, what happened?

Well, just about everything. First, the company was found to have a secret guarding agreement with the Montreal police department:

Significant expenses were incurred for building security without any call for tenders and without the authorization of the executive committee or the Agglomeration Council, which represents municipalities in the Montreal region, Bergeron said.

Okay, so the police chief hired a guarding firm without putting it out to bid. He was in a hurry. Big deal.

And, Bergeron said that BCIA employees failed to undergo proper background checks.

Hmmm. That seems like a bad idea.

But I’m sure the chief has a good explanation:

He said the lack of a formal contract was due to administrative errors and delays and insisted that BCIA employees had submitted to background checks.

See! It’s just because the chief and his staff are incompetent! It doesn’t have anything to do with being corrupt or anything. They just suck at their jobs. Can’t you understand that?

Also, as to the background checks? I’m mean, yeah-huh, we did so do the checks!

This is my favorite part, though:

Questioned about dinners that he had had with the company’s president, Luigi Coretti, Delorme insisted that his relationship with the man was purely professional.

I always wonder why people even bother asking these types of questions:

“Chief - I see you’ve had dinners with mister Coretti here. Those look suspicious. What were the nature of these dinners?”

“Well, sir, basically, we just arranged these dinners so that he’d have a good opportunity to pass me a large envelope full of cash under the table. And, obviously, I wanted to get a five-star meal out of the deal while we were at it. Did you think we were going engage in nefarious kickbacks at the local McDonald’s?”

Though I suppose that would be entertaining.

The next step for BCIA, though, was to bring down one of the Quebec ministers. I love that Canadian slang: Tony Tomassi was “turfed.” Brilliant.

Tomassi was fired May 6 by Charest after the premier learned Tomassi used a company gas credit card paid for by the BCIA security firm.

A gas card? That’s pretty weak. If you’re going to accept kickbacks, it ought to be in decent amounts of untraceable cash.

And Coretti claims he was just trying to help an old buddy.

“For me, I don’t know Tony Tomassi as family minister. For me, I know Tony Tomassi as a friend,” he told a reporter.

“We issued a credit card, hey, it was to help him. This guy is a friend more than anything else.”

That makes sense. The guy’s a minister in the Quebecois government. Clearly, he needs a little help with gas money, right? I was just up in Montreal. Gas is pretty steep up there! And you can only buy it by the litre it’s so scarce!

Next came bankruptcy for the company. Unfortunately, it’s not just company executives and ownership that have felt the pain:

BCIA declared bankruptcy in May after failing to persuade creditors to accept a proposal to resolve its $14-million debt. Among investors owed money are the Quebec government, Movement Desjardins and about 1,000 current and former company employees, who had invested almost $4 million in the firm.

Yikes. One thousand current and former employees? That’s the way to be a steward of the company, Luigi!

Finally, another lesson about the Internet. What you put there, stays there. Have a look around the BCIA web site. There are moments of high comedy, such as this one:

The company’s spectacular, steady growth has been marked by the complete satisfaction of its many customers, truly making it “A NEW GENERATION IN SECURITY.”

I believe I was just remarking on the company’s “spectacular, steady growth.”

And there’s this, too:

UNQUESTIONABLE LEADERSHIP !

How could you have any questions about it?