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Cinar Sued Over Stock Options

The newest lawsuit hitting the embattled Cinar Corp. comes from a former exec, over his inability to exercise his stock options. At Cinar, Louis Fournier served as the companys vice president of distribution and left the company to serve as president of youth and animation programming at Montreal-based TVA International. Fournier is suing his former employer for reimbursement over stock options not paid to him when he exited the company in February 2000. Among various lawsuits by investors, Cinars troubles started when tax fraud allegations surfaced claiming that the ARTHUR TV series producer used false Canadian names on scripts by U.S. scribes to obtain federal tax breaks. It was then uncovered that CA$122 million of the companys money was invested in a Bahamas-based bank without board approval, which subsequently lead to the firing of CFO Hasanain Panju, the resignation of co-founders Micheline Charest and Ronald Weinberg and the halt on trading of Cinar stock. The Toronto Stock Exchanges decision to stop trading Cinars stock has led to this most recent lawsuit from Fournier. As reported [AWN 6/7/00], Cinar has recovered an additional $10 million of the $122 million invested in Globe-X Management, but $66 million still remains uncovered. "Discussions concerning the balance receivable by Cinar will continue," Barrie Usher, president and CEO of Cinar, said in a statement.

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Rick DeMott
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