CHICAGO: Less than two months before the start of his trial on fraud and racketeering charges, toppled media tycoon Lord Conrad Black is facing new allegations. US federal prosecutors claim he engaged in insider trading and illegally posted information about his former company on a financial message board.

Black, erstwhile chairman/ceo of newspaper publisher Hollinger International, is accused of looting millions of dollars from the company, now called Sun-Times Media Group. He and three former associates, all denying wrongdoing, are due appear in court at the beginning of March.

The latest allegations against Black claim he urged a company vp to respond to a post on a Yahoo internet message board in 1998 about Hollinger's seemingly static stock price.

When the executive explained that responding would violate federal guidelines, Black allegedly posted a response anonymously, say prosecutors.

They also claim Black, together with other officials, used insider trading to boost Hollinger stock in the same year, arranging for the Canadian company Brascan to buy Hollinger shares at the same time short-sellers were unloading their stock. Black was a director at Brascan, now called Brookfield Asset Management.

The company says it is reviewing the matter and cannot comment.

Black's defense lawyer, Edward Greenspan, says the latest court filing includes "misstatements".

He adds: "We're preparing our response now, and we will file and we will object to what the prosecutor has put forward."

Data sourced from New York Times; additional content by WARC staff