CINAR Co-Founders Exit With $122M Missing
In the continuing crisis at CINAR Corp., husband and wife co-founders, Micheline Charest and Ronald Weinberg, have stepped down after senior VP and CFO Hasanain Panju was fired when US$122 million was found to have disappeared into investments without board approval. With tax fraud allegations floating in the skies, Charest will leave her chairman and co-CEO seat, while Weinberg will give up his president and co-CEO position. The couple will remain as leaders and directors of the company. CINAR, however, producers of such wholesome kid fare as ARTHUR and THE BUSY WORLD OF RICHARD SCARY, isn't letting the seats get cold. On Monday, March 6, 2000, Lawrence Yelin, a senior partner of the national law firm of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin and a long-standing member of the Board of Directors of the company, was appointed as chairman of the board of directors. Barrie Usher has been appointed president and chief executive officer of the company and a member of its board of directors. Prior to joining CINAR, Usher served as a senior VP of Manulife Financial Corporation and as president and CEO of New York Life Insurance Company of Canada. Reportedly $86 million of the $122 million had been pledged to secure other investments. CINAR has launch an in house investigation into the whereabouts of the missing money to determine its legal position and hopefully re-obtain possession of the funds.