The Man Behind A Montreal Swingers' Bar Is Going To Prison For Jerking Around Revenu Québec

It seems they swung too close to the sun.

Staff Writer
Part of the downtown Montreal skyline at dusk, as seen from Mount Royal.

Part of the downtown Montreal skyline at dusk, as seen from Mount Royal.

While swinging may be perfectly legal, avoiding taxes most certainly isn't. One Montreal swingers' organization learned this the hard way: by committing fraud and getting caught.

After years of successfully engaging in tax evasion, Jean-Paul Labaye, director of the swingers' non-profit Cercle réciproque, pled guilty to 16 counts including financial fraud, resulting in $1,406,498.04 in fines and a year-long prison sentence.

It seems the organization was collecting sales taxes from customers for several years without passing them on to the government. Cercle réciproque ran a swingers' bar called l'Orage.

Between 2015 and 2018, the sales tax collected by Cercle réciproque and not by the government amounted to a total of $231,369.97 in unpaid dues, Revenu Québec says.

During the same period, Cercle réciproque didn't pay its provincial taxes, and from 2016 to 2019, the organization also failed to pay any taxes federally.

The whistle was blown on these illicit operations by a member of the public, according to a Revenu Québec press release.

The agency even performed physical investigations at the organization's rue Saint-Hubert location, with judicial permission to seize documents related to the non-profit's operations.

It paints quite a dramatic hypothetical picture: serious financial investigators ransacking filing cabinets, stacking manila folders across the room and aggressively avoiding eye contact with people who casually enjoy swapping partners.

Only in Montreal.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Willa Holt
Staff Writer
Willa Holt is a Staff Writer for MTL Blog, often found covering weird and wonderful real estate and local politics from her home base in Montreal.