‘Ragtime’ producers deny accounting fraud

Former Broadway producers Garth Drabinsky and Myron Gottlieb have been
charged with two counts of fraud and one count of forgery. Their trial began
Monday in Ontario Superior Court in Toronto.

Prosecutors allege the two Canadians who co-founded Livent, a major Broadway
theatre company which produced hit shows such as ‘Ragtime’ and ‘Showboat’,
raised hundreds of millions in financing and that the fraud began even before
Livent went public, interactive investor reports.

The Toronto-based company filed for bankruptcy protection after the alleged
fraud was revealed when Michael Ovitz, former Walt Disney Co president, invested
in Livent. Drabinsky, Gottlieb and their lawyers declined comment.

Prosecutor Robert Hubbard said he is calling seven former Livent employees
who will testify their former bosses falsified financial statements and had
their accounting software modified to inflate income. Hubbard said they hid
production costs and inflated ticket sales to attract investors.

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