A swoop by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and postal inspectors on the $8.9 million (€7.3m; £5m) proceeds of an apartment sale does not augur well for scandal-beset former media mogul Lord Conrad Black.

The erstwhile chairman/ceo of Chicago-headquartered publisher Hollinger International (H-Intl) could face a broad sweep of charges against him in the ongoing investigation into alleged 'looting' from the company of $32m between 1999 and 2001.

Comments Eugene Fox, a principal with H-Intl shareholder Cardinal Capital Management: "This was aggressive, that they were willing to go after this transaction. They're scrutinizing everything he might have done, everything that was raised by shareholders."

The FBI alleges Black defrauded H-Intl by acquiring the New York property at a low price and selling it for a big profit [WAMN: 11-Oct-05].

Former H-Intl president and chief operating officer F David Radler, together with another former H-Intl executive, has been charged in connection with the disputed $32m. Radler has entered into a plea bargain agreement with prosecutors.

The company's board alleges around $400m was diverted from its coffers by Black and his cohorts, and a number of civil court actions have been launched for the return of the money.

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

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