Troubled Canadian producer-distributor Cinar Corp has filed lawsuits against several Bahamas-based investment companies in an attempt to recoup $76m in missing funds.
Cinar's co-founders, Micheline Charest and Ronald Weinberg resigned from their roles as co-CEOs earlier this month over an alleged $122m in unauthorised corporate bond purchases made by executive vice-president Hasanain Panju, who was subsequently fired (Screendaily March 8). Cinar has recovered some of the $122m but $76m is still unaccounted for.
Among the offshore financial outfits that Cinar is suing is Globe-X Management which is understood to have held $122m in investment grade securities on behalf of Cinar.
Meanwhile it has emerged that Canadian funding body Telefilm Canada, which recently ceased all business activities with Cinar, received warnings as far back as 1993 that the company might be attaching Canadian names to scripts written by Americans to gain Canadian tax credits.
A Cinar scriptwriter sent several letters to Telefilm in 1993, complaining about illegitimate use of American writers' names for Canadian co-productions.
Telefilm, which is now working with the police investigation into Cinar, contributed $3.2m to the company in 1998 and $6m in 1997. Cinar received government tax credits in 1998 to the tune of 14.2% of its fiscal revenue.