Boaz Manor, the co-founder of Portus Alternative Asset Management, was to make his first court appearance Tuesday, but instead, he was represented by well-known lawyer Brian Greenspan in a Toronto courtroom.
Greenspan, of the Toronto-based firm Greenspan, Humphrey, Levine, is representing Manor in the quasi-criminal proceedings involving a section of Ontario’s Provincial Offences Act. Manor fled to Israel shortly after Portus was shut down earlier this year and has not returned to Canada.
Manor, described by regulators as the “chief architect and guiding mind” of all the Portus operations, is accused of destroying material documents, submitting misleading information to the commission, directing the trading of non-prospectus qualified mutual funds without proper registration and directing the distribution of units in the funds without having filed a preliminary prospectus.
In total, approximately 26,000 Canadian investors, the majority of whom reside in Ontario, invested approximately $730 million in the domestic structures offered by Portus and $52 million US in the offshore structure. Another $20 million was invested in Portus’s first product, the Market Neutral Preservation Fund.
Manor, along with Michael Mendelson, Michael Labanowich, John Ogg and Portus, are also named in a hearing before the Ontario Securities Commission into allegations of misconduct, but Greenspan is not representing Manor at that hearing. The OSC hearing was adjourned Monday until January 17, 2006.
Greenspan is a prominent figure in defending securities cases. He most recently represented former RBC Dominion Securities managing director Andrew Rankin in the insider stock-tipping trial. In late October, Rankin was found guilty for 10 counts for insider stock-tipping and was given a three-month sentence. Greenspan has already filed an appeal in that case.
Under the provincial offences act, Manor doesn’t have to appear in court if an agent or council appears for him, says Greenspan. Manor will not have to appear before a judge until all of the administrative appearances have been set, which Greenspan explains, “will probably occupy the next six months plus.”
Greenspan says he is waiting for full disclosure and expects some judicial pre-trials before a trial date is even set. “It is not until the trial date that Mr. Manor need appear,” he adds. Receiver KPMG has asked a Tel Aviv judge to prohibit Manor from leaving Israel.
Manor’s next hearing is scheduled for January 18, 2006 in Toronto.
Filed by Mark Brown, Advisor.ca, email@example.com