Livent Inc. co-founder Myron Gottlieb has been barred for life from working as a director or officer of a public company after reaching a settlement with the Ontario Securities Commission in his long-running case.
An OSC commissioner approved the settlement terms on Tuesday, also prohibiting Mr. Gottlieb from acting as a director of a brokerage firm or other financial registrants. The settlement includes a 15-year ban from trading securities except for his registered retirement savings plan.
The settlement did not include financial penalties. OSC lawyer Jed Friedman said Mr. Gottlieb is already facing payment orders from lawsuits filed by Livent investors, and the settlement will ensure Mr. Gottlieb has "limited access" to Ontario's capital markets.
Mr. Gottlieb was accused of manipulating Livent's books in the 1990s, allowing the company to file false financial statements in every quarter it was a public company from 1993 to 1998.
"If you commit fraud, not only will you face prison time, you will also face lifetime bans in the capital markets," Mr. Friedman told a hearing Tuesday.
Mr. Gottlieb, 71, made no statement at the hearing and provided no comment as he left. His lawyer, Naomi Lutes, said the penalty was appropriate because her client has already served a prison sentence and has been unable to find work since his release.
She said his circumstances "warrant compassion" from the commission because his conviction and incarceration were "debilitating."
"He has lost virtually everything of material value and has been under virtual house arrest these last 10 years," Ms. Lutes told the hearing. "Mr. Gottlieb truly has lost everything."
Livent was a Toronto-based theatre company that produced such hits as Phantom of the Opera and Show Boat before it collapsed in 1998 after new owners raised concerns about accounting problems at the company.
The company's founders – Mr. Gottlieb and partner Garth Drabinsky – were convicted in 2009 of conducting the accounting fraud and were sentenced to four years and six years in prison, respectively.
The OSC also levelled allegations against Mr. Drabinsky and former vice-president of finance Gordon Eckstein. The commission's case remains ongoing against both men, who were not part of Tuesday's settlement agreement.
The commission originally launched its case in 2001, but it was on hold indefinitely while criminal proceedings were under way against the three men, and while they served their penalties. The case was revived in early 2013 with the commission filing a simplified statement of allegations, saying it would rely on their criminal convictions as a basis for imposing regulatory penalties.
Mr. Gottlieb was released on parole in 2012, while Mr. Drabinsky was released in 2013. Mr. Eckstein received a conditional sentence, including one year of house arrest.
Mr. Gottlieb has never publicly admitted to knowingly conducting or participating in the fraud. He made no new admissions about his actions at Livent in the OSC settlement agreement.
The Parole Board of Canada said it granted Mr. Gottlieb parole because he posed no risk to the community, despite what it called his "abject refusal" to take responsibility for his crimes. In a written decision in 2013, the board said it was dismayed that Mr. Gottlieb only admitted he was guilty of not properly overseeing those working below him at Livent.
"You have consistently refused to acknowledge your own culpability," the board wrote in its decision.