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Drabinsky loses appeal bid

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Live theatre promoter Garth Drabinsky has lost a bid to have an appeal of his fraud conviction heard by the Supreme Court of Canada.

Canada's top court announced Thursday it will not hear an appeal of an Ontario Court of Appeal decision last September, which upheld Drabinsky's 2009 fraud conviction and dismissed his request for a new trial.

Drabinsky and long-time partner Myron Gottlieb were convicted in 2009 of fraud for systematically misstating the financial statements of live theatre company Livent Inc. between 1993 and 1998.

After the Ontario Court of Appeal rejected their appeal attempt last September, Drabinsky and Gottlieb began serving sentences of five years and four years respectively. They are both still in jail.

The Supreme Court decision means Drabinsky has exhausted his last option for appeal and must complete his prison sentence.

Gottlieb did not join the application seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court. He is expected to be eligible for day parole by this summer.

As is typical for the Supreme Court, it did not give reasons for rejecting Drabinsky's application for leave to appeal. The court generally only hears appeals in cases where it believes there is an important matter of law that needs to be decided or clarified.

Livent brought hits such as Phantom of the Opera and Ragtime to Toronto and other venues in North America in the 1990s. The company collapsed in 1998 after new investors raised questions about the firm's accounting, leading a police investigation and criminal charges.

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