Prior to the Ovitz investmnet, neither Drabinsky or Gottlieb were concerned that the alleged fraud would be discovered. The Livent accounting staff, however, was in “a state of panic,” the defence argues.
That panic grew when Ovitz hired the accounting firm of KPMG to conduct a due diligence on the company. Messina was put in charge of that due diligence – an odd move since she testified she was opposed to the fraud, the defence says. “Messina was ‘the weakest link’ in the alleged conspiracies and should have never been put in chare of the due diligence,” Greenspan says.
The only “rational explanation” for this is that Drabinsky and Gottlieb had no idea there was any accounting fraud to cover up, says the defence. Of course, there are some other explanations. As I mention in the previous blog concerning Gottlieb – the executives could have thought an earlier $27.5 million write-down and massive $20 million loss posted by the company could have taken care of the allegedly fraudulent accounting.
Drabinsky and Gottlieb could also have been counting on the descretion of Ovitz and his partner Roy Furman in the investment since Drabinsky had long and cordial relations with both men.