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Portus co-founder Manor to return to Canada in November

Date: Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Author: Reuters.com

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Boaz Manor, co-founder of Portus Alternative Management Inc, is expected to return to Canada next month to face a slew of criminal and civil charges, including fraud, KPMG, the receiver for the collapsed Canadian hedge fund said on Tuesday.

Manor's return to Canada follows a decision by an Israeli court to lift its ban on Manor leaving Israel, where he has been living since 2005, KPMG said in a statement.

"We are extremely pleased with the reported decision as it ensures that Manor will face justice in Canada while ensuring that the rights of the investors to recover assets from him are preserved," said Robert Rusko, KPMG senior vice-president.

Manor is expected to travel directly to Toronto on Nov. 13.

Canadian police charged Manor and Portus co-founder Michael Mendelson in September with 12 counts of fraud, money laundering, and possession of property obtained by crime following a lengthy international investigation.

Manor faces four additional charges, including obstructing justice. He also faces a hearing in front of the Ontario Securities Commission.

Portus collapsed in 2005 after more than two years in business. It had managed about C$750 million ($789 million) in Canadian investments and $52.8 million in foreign holdings.

The hedge fund was shut down after Ontario regulators inquired about transactions and found funds were not invested in Canadian securities as had been promised.

KPMG said the district court in Israel also ruled that the receiver can continue civil proceedings in Israel against Manor to recover assets, including diamonds and cash, which he has previously acknowledged owning in that country.

Separately, KPMG Inc, the trustee of the bankrupt estate of the Portus Group, said it had made an interim payment of C$120 million to more than 16,000 Portus customers. The payment works out at 15 Canadian cents on the dollar on proven claims.