Montreal

Former Cinar boss released on bail

The disgraced president of Cinar, a once-successful animation company, has been freed on bail after being charged in an alleged $120-million fraud scam.

Ronald Weinberg faces dozens of charges in $120M fraud case

Former Cinar president Ronald Weinberg is escorted by police through Montreal's Pierre Trudeau International Airport on Thursday night. (CBC)

The disgraced president of Cinar, a once-successful animation company, has been freed on bail after being charged in an alleged $120-million fraud scam.

Ronald Weinburg was released on $140,000 bail Friday, less than a day after he surrended to Montreal police at the Trudeau International Airport.

Under Ronald Weinburg's bail conditions, he must:

  • Live at one of his two homes, in Pointe Claire Que., or upstate New York.
  • Refrain from communicating with others accused in the case.
  • Refrain from trading public stocks.
  • Keep the peace.

The court ruled he was not a flight risk and will be allowed to cross the border into upstate New York, where one of his two homes is located.

Authorities allege Weinberg and Hasanain Panju, Cinar's former chief financial officer, were involved in redirecting company funds to offshore accounts, without the board's consent.

Weinberg and Panju, along with two other men, face 36 charges related to an alleged scheme to skim millions of dollars from Cinar and invest them with companies tied to Norshield Financial Group.

The charges include fraud, forgery, creating false documents and making a false prospectus, with the alleged offences taking place between August 1998 and March 2000.

2 of 4 suspects arrested last week

Weinburg, 59, eluded authorities for more than a week after an arrest warrant was issued. He showed up at the airport Thursday night, arriving on a flight from the Dominican Republic.

Panju and Pasquale Lino Matteo, ex-president of investment firm Mount Real, were arrested in connection to the case on March 2.

A fourth man wanted in the case, John Xanthoudakis, is still at large. Xanthoudakis once ran the Norshield Financial Group.

It took authorities eight years to build their case.

Cinar has been in the spotlight for several years, notably because of a drawn-out legal battle with cartoonist Claude Robinson.

The Montreal artist accused the company of stealing his original work to create a popular series, Robinson Sucroé.

Quebec Superior Court eventually ruled in Robinson's favour, ordering Cinar to pay the Montreal artist $5.2 million in damages.

With files from the Canadian Press

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