OSC bans Garth Drabinsky from becoming director or officer of public company

Garth Drabinsky arrives for an Ontario Securities Commission hearing in Toronto on February 22, 2017. Ontario's securities watchdog says former theatre mogul Garth Drabinsky, who defrauded investors of an estimated $500 million in the Livent Entertainment

The Canadian Press

TORONTO - Ontario's securities watchdog has permanently banned Garth Drabinsky from becoming a director or officer of a publicly traded company, bringing to a close a 16-year-old case against the former theatre impressario.

The Ontario Securities Commission says Drabinsky, who defrauded investors of an estimated $500 million, is also prohibited from acting as or becoming a registrant in Ontario.

The OSC case against Drabinsky was first launched in 2001, but was put on hold until the conclusion of his criminal case for his role in the Livent Entertainment scandal.

Drabinsky was found guilty of two counts of fraud and sentenced to a five-year prison term back in 2009 for manipulating company financial statements and orchestrating a kickback scheme.

He appealed the convictions all the way up to the Supreme Court of Canada, which dismissed the application.

Two other executives, Gordon Eckstein and Myron Gottlieb, were also found guilty of fraud in the Livent scandal and later banned from serving as a director or officer of a public company under settlements reached with the OSC.

Drabinsky is also prohibited from buying or trading securities but with several exceptions, including if the trading takes place in an RRSP or through a registered dealer in accounts opened in his name only.

The OSC says it imposed only limited trading bans because it does not feel that prohibiting Drabinsky from making routine personal investments is necessary to protect the public.

© The Canadian Press , 2017