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U.S. dismisses case against Canadian theatre producer Garth Drabinsky in Livent Inc. affair

Legal authorities in New York have dismissed outstanding criminal charges against Canadian theatre producer Garth Drabinsky almost 20 years after accusing him of fraud involving defunct live theatre company Livent Inc.

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York filed the dismissal notice on June 25, closing the last outstanding criminal action against Mr. Drabinsky.

The charges were laid in 1999, accusing Mr. Drabinsky of conspiracy to commit offering and securities fraud, filing false registration statements, filing false quarterly and annual reports, falsifying books and records, circumventing accounting controls and lying to auditors.

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The case was on hold, however, while Mr. Drabinsky was prosecuted in Canada over the Livent fraud. He was convicted in 2009, lost an appeal attempt, and served a portion of his five-year jail sentence before his release on day parole in 2012.

In an application filed in court, assistant United States attorney Sarah Eddy said the dismissal is appropriate because Mr. Drabinsky had already been prosecuted for the fraud.

“Because Drabinsky has already served a term of imprisonment for crimes arising from the same underlying conduct charged in the indictment, and because the interests of justice would not be served by further prosecution of this matter, the government has determined that dismissal of the indictment is warranted,” she said.

While the outstanding charges had been dormant for many years, they were an impediment blocking Mr. Drabinsky from being able to travel to the United States. The indictment offered no indication of whether he is now free to travel despite his fraud conviction in Canada.

Mr. Drabinsky could not be reached Friday.

Livent, which staged shows such as Phantom of the Opera and Show Boat in the 1990s, collapsed in 1998 after new owners bought the company and raised concerns about accounting improprieties. Mr. Drabinsky and partner Myron Gottlieb, who co-founded the company, were both sentenced to jail for fraud.

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