US Prosecutors Ask Court To Rule on $17m Black Forfeiture

15 August 2007

CHICAGO: US federal prosecutors are eager to lay hands on some of Conrad Black's ill-gotten gains, even before trial Judge Amy St Eve passes sentence on the erstwhile media magnate, a Canadian citizen-turned-British Lord.

Sentencing is another three months distant and - assuming Black's guilty verdict is not overturned on appeal in the interim - he will learn the full extent of his fate on November 30.

Prosecutors are edgy, meantime, that some of His Lordship's carefully stashed millions might find their way beyond federal grasp. They have accordingly filed papers with the Chicago district court seeking an order that Black immediately forfeit part or all of $16.95 million (€12.44m; £8.42m).

The filing also asks that Black's co-defendants - Peter Atkinson and John Boultbee share in the forfeiture. A fourth defendant, the former Hollinger International corporate counsel Mark Kipnis, will also be invited to dig deep.

The quartet were jointly found guilty on three counts of mail fraud via a scam in which money rightly belonging to Hollinger shareholders was siphoned off through the sale of assets.

All are currently free on bail, although Black's movements are restricted to the Chicago area and his Florida mansion.

Data sourced from Sydney Morning Herald; additional content by WARC staff