Former Cinar Corp. CEO Ronald Weinberg was charged with fraud in a Montreal courthouse on Friday, after being arrested Thursday night at Montreal’s Trudeau Airport. He was returning to his hometown from the Dominican Republic.
Weinberg is also charged with publishing a false prospectus for Cinar in March 1999. Weinberg was released on C$140,000 bail ($144,000) bail and has to return to court May 4.
The charges relate to allegations that Weinberg and the three other men helped funnel $122 million in Cinar funds to bank accounts in the Bahamas without the authorization of the Cinar board. The fraud is alleged to have taken place in the late 1990s and the Quebec provincial police have been investigating the matter for 10 years.
The charges have not been proven in court.
Last week, the Quebec police arrested former Cinar chief financial officer Hasanain Panju and Lino Matteo, the former president of financial services company Mount Real. Both have since been released on $51,000 bail. The fourth person alleged to be involved in the fraud, Norshield Financial Group president John Xanthoudakis, has yet to be located by police.
Cinar was once one of Canada’s hottest TV producers and distributors, thanks to kids shows like “Arthur” and “Caillou.” But the Montreal-based company collapsed following allegations of financial improprieties at the beginning of the decade.