Cinar Employees Barred From Trading
Canadian securities watchdog, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), has barred officers, directors and insiders of Cinar Corp. from trading in shares of the troubled children's television production company. OSC issued a temporary cease-trading order against 57 Cinar individuals as a result of the Montreal-based company's failure to meet regulatory filing requirements. On April 18, 2000, Cinar missed the deadline of filing the results for the year ended Nov. 30, 1999. The OSC and Quebec Securities Commission (QSC) also wants to know why Cinar will be late with results for the first quarter of fiscal 2000, which are due April 29, 2000. Heidi Franken, manager of continuous disclosure at the OSC, said the ban most likely would be lifted once Cinar fulfills disclosure requirements. Cinar co-founders Micheline Charest and Ron Weinberg to newly appointed president Barrie Usher are named in the order. The OSC has jurisdiction over Cinar because it is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. This action came a day after the ARTHUR and THE BUSY WORLD OF RICHARD SCARRY producer was denied by the QSC their request for a 90-day extension for submitting its financial statements and issued a cease-trading order on all Cinar shares. Cinar's stock has not been traded on the Toronto or Nasdaq stock exchanges since March 8, 2000, when the exchanges demanded more information about the company's financial situation. The problems for Cinar started when the company was brought up on charges of fraud -- allegedly using false names on scripts to receive Canadian tax credits. The situation heated up when reports were released that top Cinar officials, including Weinberg, had invested nearly US$122 million in a Bahamas-based firm without board approval. Since then Weinberg and his wife, Micheline Charest, have stepped down from their co-CEO positions. Several lawsuits have been filed against the company by investors and there is currently an on-going criminal investigation into the matter.