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OSC revives case against Livent executives

Livent Inc. co-founder Garth Drabinsky arrives at the courtroom with his lawyer Edward Greenspan (L) for his sentencing hearing in Toronto August 5, 2009.

MARK BLINCH/REUTERS

The Ontario Securities Commission has revived its dormant case against three former Livent Inc. executives, arguing their criminal convictions provide grounds for them to face regulatory sanctions.

In a new statement of allegations released Thursday, which replaces the case filed by the OSC in 2001, the commission said Livent founders Garth Drabinsky and Myron Gottlieb, and former vice-president of finance Gordon Eckstein, "acted contrary to the public interest" when they manipulated the live theatre company's financial statements in the 1990s.

The OSC's long-running case against the three men has been on hold indefinitely while they faced criminal charges and served their penalties. Mr. Drabinsky and Mr. Gottlieb were found guilty of fraud in 2009 and were sentenced to five years and four years respectively. Both men were released on parole last year.

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Mr. Eckstein pleaded guilty to fraud in 2007 and received a conditional sentence of two years less a day, including one year of house arrest.

The new statement of allegations simplifies the OSC's case against the former Livent officials, relying on their criminal fraud convictions as a basis to support imposing sanctions, rather than proposing to re-argue the details of their original improper activity.

The commission can ban the men from trading securities, working in the investment industry, or serving as a director or officer of a public company. The commission has scheduled a hearing for March 19.

The OSC also said Thursday it has dropped its case against Livent, which was wound up under receivership, and against former executive Robert Topol, who had criminal charges against him dismissed in 2007 after arguing his case had faced undue delay getting to trial.

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About the Author
Real Estate Reporter

Janet McFarland is the real estate reporter for The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business, with a focus on residential real estate trends. She joined Report on Business in 1995, and has specialized in reporting on corporate governance, executive compensation, pension policy, business law, securities regulation and enforcement of white-collar crime. More

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