Police arrest fourth suspect in Cinar fraud case
Quebec Provincial Police arrested former Norshield Financial Group president John Xanthoudakis at Trudeau International Airport just before 9 a.m. ET Tuesday morning.
Xanthoudakis is one of four men facing charges in a $120-million fraud scam involving the defunct children's TV production company, Cinar.
Authorities allege the men orchestrated an elaborate scheme to steal money from Cinar and invest it in the Bahamas.
Last Friday, the disgraced president of the once-successful animation company, Ronald Weinberg, was released on $140,000 bail, less than a day after he surrendered to police at Trudeau airport.
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.
Police also allege Xanthoudakis then helped invest the money in the Bahamas while Lino Pasquale Matteo, an executive with the investment-firm Mount Real, helped him camouflage the investments.
The four men are facing a total of 36 charges among them, including fraud, forgery, using fake documents and publishing a false prospectus, with the alleged offences taking place between August 1998 and March 2000.
Xanthoudakis is expected to be arraigned in court in Montreal Tuesday afternoon. The other three suspects have already been released on bail with a promise to appear.
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.