Canadian theatre impresario Garth Drabinsky yesterday lost his last bid to overturn a jail sentence connected to a 2009 fraud conviction related to the bankruptcy of Toronto-based Livent Inc.
The formerly iconic theatre company had collapsed in 1998 with a reported loss to investors of about $500 million (Canadian).
He and business partner Myron Gottlieb were convicted of fraud in 2009. According to published reports at the time, Madam Justice Mary Lou Benotto of the Ontario (provincial) Superior Court described Livent’s successes as “falsehoods and manipulation” and stated that that the pair had artificially inflated profits and deflated costs to paint a deceptive picture of Livent’s finances.
They were imprisoned in September 2011 after the Ontario Court of Appeal had refused to overturn their convictions and order a new trial. The OCA did, however, reduce the sentences for Drabinsky and Gottlieb to five years and four years instead of the original seven years and six years respectively.
In yesterday’s decision the Supreme Court of Canada – the country’s highest court – rejected Drabinsky’s application for leave to appeal the Ontario Court of Appeal decision. In effect, the decision means that no further appeal will be heard.
The decision means that Drabinsky has no further legal options available for avoiding the prison term, according to legal sources consulted by The Stage. As is customary in such situations, the SCOC did not release reasons for the decision.
Traditionally, the SCOC restricts hearings to cases that might produce a decision or clarification of a point of law and yesterday’s decision means that Drabinsky will continue serving his sentence. Mr. Gottlieb had not been involved in the application.
Drabinsky was unavailable for comment.