The bank account of erstwhile Hollinger International chairman/ceo Lord Conrad Black is several million dollars lighter following a swoop by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and postal inspectors last week.

The continuing probe into alleged fraud by former H-Intl executives has resulted in an $8.9 million (€7.3m; £5m) seizure of proceeds from the sale of a New York apartment.

The authorities intercepted the cash after alleging Black defrauded H-Intl, which publishes the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper, by acquiring the Park Avenue property at an artificially low price and selling it for a big profit.

Counters Black's lawyer: "There was no fraud and the federal government will soon be paying it all back, with interest."

The US Attorney's Office says the funds will be frozen pending any trial or adjudication relating to its investigation of transactions from 1999 to 2001 that diverted more than $32m from the company.

H-Intl's former president and chief operating officer David Radler has entered into a plea bargain agreement with federal authorities over his part in the scandal [WAMN: 21-Sept-05].

Black has not yet been indicted and denies any wrongdoing. He maintains the payments were approved by the H-Intl board.

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