Sentencing Hearing for Drabinsky and Gottlieb Underway in Toronto; Verdict Due in August

News   Sentencing Hearing for Drabinsky and Gottlieb Underway in Toronto; Verdict Due in August A sentencing hearing for Garth Drabinsky and Myron Gottlieb — the producers who gave North American theatre a shot in the arm with award-winning productions of Show Boat, Ragtime, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Barrymore and more — began July 6 and ended July 7 in Toronto, according to Variety.
Garth Drabinsky, creator and producer of
Garth Drabinsky, creator and producer of "Triple Sensation." Photo by Michael Cooper

The industry paper reports that prosecutors asked for an eight-to-ten year sentence for each of the defendants. Lawyers for Drabinsky asked for a lighter sentence; statements were read from more than 40 people, including family, friends and theatrical colleagues of the producer. The defendants will learn their fate Aug. 5.

As previously reported, Drabinsky and Gottlieb were found guilty of fraud and forgery carried out at their production company Livent, Inc.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Mary Lou Benotto made her judgment in Toronto March 25, 11 months after the trial began, the Toronto Star previously reported. She said the producing duo's "creative success" was "spectacular" but that "widespread and long-standing" fraud and "deliberate misrepresentation" clouded their efforts.

"I have been satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that you knew what was happening," she said.

The publicly traded company collapsed in the late 1990s. It was the only public company whose primary purpose was to produce commercial theatre.

Benotto released an 86-page document of the trial and her decision.

"The financial statements were manipulated. The object was to keep income as close to budget as possible," Benotto wrote. "This was done by moving expenses from one period to another, by amortization roles, by applying the expenses of one show to another and by allocating operating costs to fixed asset accounts."

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