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Boaz Manor (Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail)
Boaz Manor (Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail)

Portus’ Boaz Manor in tentative deal with OSC staff Add to ...

 A key figure in the multimillion-dollar Portus financial scandal, a complicated investment scheme that collapsed in 2005, has reached a tentative settlement with officials at the Ontario Securities Commission.

An agreement between Portus co-founder Boaz Manor and the OSC’s enforcement branch, announced Friday, will be put before a panel of commissioners at a hearing scheduled for Monday afternoon.

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Details of the settlement will be kept confidential unless approved by the administrative tribunal, as is the usual practice at the OSC.

“More information will be available on our website if and when the settlement is approved,” the OSC’s manager of public affairs said in an email Friday.

The Toronto-based investment group collapsed in early 2005 after securities regulators in several provinces investigated and closed Portus Alternative Asset Management, a major company within the group.

At the time, Portus Alternative Asset Management had $800-million under management and 26,000 clients across Canada — mostly in Ontario. Much of the money was later recovered or in investments that could be recovered, but some of the funds collected from investors appeared to have been diverted.

Mr. Manor returned to his native Israel soon after the crackdown and remained out of Canada for years as authorities and a court-appointed receiver attempted to unravel the group’s complex business dealings.

He and Michael Mendelson, another key figure in the group, were later criminally charged with fraud, money laundering and possession of property of crime.

Mr. Manor, who was still out of the country when the RCMP announced the charges in September, 2007, was also charged with obstruction of justice. He returned to Canada two months later and was released on bail.

Mr. Mendelson pleaded guilty to one count of fraud in November, 2007, and received a two-year sentence.

Mr. Manor later pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering and one count of disobeying a court order. He was sentenced in May, 2011, to four years for the fraud and two years for disobeying a court order.

According to the OSC’s a statement of allegations on the civil matters, filed in October, 2005, Mr. Manor was registered as the associate portfolio manager for PAAM and president of the company from its creation until it was put into receivership.

“Manor was the chief architect of all of the investment products that are the subject of this proceeding and was a directing mind of all of the entities involved in those products,” the statement of allegations said.

Mr. Mendelson was president of the affiliated Portus Asset Management, and also considered a “directing mind” of the business.

Settlements reached by the OSC’s enforcement staff and the accused are usually based on only the facts that are agreed upon by both sides.

The OSC’s lawyer will present the settlement to a panel of independent commissioners, who will decide whether the deal is acceptable.

Earlier this week, the OSC reached settlements with two lesser figures in the Portus saga — Michael Labanowich and John Ogg. Hearings for those settlements are scheduled for Monday morning, before the hearing for the Manor settlement.

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