Conrad Black Prosecutors Preview Their Case

13 December 2006

CHICAGO: Federal prosecutors have offered a sneak preview of their case against fallen media baron Lord Conrad Black who is accused, with three other former senior executives, of diverting more than $80 million (€60.3m; £40.7m) from newspaper publisher Hollinger International.

Black, erstwhile chairman/ceo of the company - now rebranded Sun-Times Media Group - was charged with fraud and racketeering last year [WARC News: 18-Nov-05]. He and the trio of former executives will face trial in Chicago next spring. All deny any wrongdoing.

Prosecutors have lodged a filing at the US District Court in Illinois which contains statements and emails from company officials, auditors, lawyers and other accused executives.

The government case against Black also focuses heavily on allegations of personal extravagance with company expenses. It alleges a $54,000 surprise birthday party for Lady Black at a New York restaurant and a $490k-plus holiday trip to a Pacific island using the corporate jet.

Black's former close associate David Radler pleaded guilty to one count of fraud last year and is expected to be an important witness. But prosecutors have not divulged his possible testimony in the latest filing.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff