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BUSINESS: Indicted: Hollinger Executives, Conrad Black

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posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 06:02 PM
Canadian-born conservative and member of the British House of Lords, Conrad Black, and his former associates have been charged with criminal fraud by US prosecutors. They are accused of siphoning money from Black's publishing empire, and impacting US-based Hollinger International Inc., and Toronto-based holding company Hollinger Inc.. In addition, Hollinger International together with Hollinger Inc. have sued Black and his associates for over a billion dollars.
U.S. prosecutors announced criminal fraud charges Thursday against Conrad Black and his former associates, accusing the ex-publisher of looting his now-shrunken media empire, once one of the world's largest. ...The Canadian-born Black, a flamboyant conservative who is a member of the British House of Lords, and the others were accused of siphoning off money from his former newspaper empire through a scheme that impacted both his publishing company, U.S.-based Hollinger International Inc., and Toronto-based holding company Hollinger Inc..

Also named in the indictment were three former Hollinger executives -- John Boultbee, Peter Atkinson and Mark Kipnis, Hollinger International's in-house lawyer. He was charged in an earlier indictment in August and pleaded not guilty but additional counts were added in Thursday's indictment.

Hollinger International's new management, which sold off flagship titles like Britain's Daily Telegraph and the Jerusalem Post, accused Black and Radler, a Canadian who lives in Vancouver, of operating a ''corporate kleptocracy'' that drained hundreds of millions of dollars from the company. ...Hollinger International has sued Black and others for $542 million. Hollinger Inc. has sued Black, his companies and allies for at least $534 million. ...In a separate civil case, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission accused Black, Radler and Hollinger Inc. of having ''cheated and defrauded'' Hollinger International shareholders.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Corporate looting seems to have escalated dramatically over the past few years. Might be the climate, or else they know something we don't. In fact, critics say, the corporate scandals we know about are just the tip of the iceberg.

Hopefully, oversight will improve, and investors' money will be better protected in the future. But as MSN reports, "Each count in the indictment announced Thursday carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine." Hardly what anyone would call a deterrent when looters can plea bargain, and pocket billions too.

[edit on 17-11-2005 by soficrow]

posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 06:57 PM
I am not surprised that Conrad Black was indicted for fraud. His arrogance has been often noted. This is simply another case of an arrogant, greedy individual who saw his "own" publicly traded company as his personal "piggy bank". Of course, the "pennies" that he shook loose did not belong to him except in his own mind.

Right now, on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC Radio), the commentators have been discussing the possibility of Conrad Black going to jail and the discussion is whether he will go to an American Jail or a much more desirable Canadian prison. This discussion, that it is even raised at all, is a testament to the level of elitism that Conrad Black fosters. To me it is pure and simple. if convicted of fraud in the United States, Conrad Black should spend his time in an American prison.

posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 09:16 PM
From the CBC: Conrad Black charged with 8 counts of fraud

"Former media baron Conrad Black has been charged with eight counts of mail fraud and wire fraud for allegedly looting millions of dollars from Hollinger International, the publishing company he used to head."

posted on Nov, 18 2005 @ 02:41 PM
The charges against Black show how corporations rip off shareholders.

"For years, Conrad Black lived large on millions of shareholder dollars," U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald told reporters...

"At times, he did it by withholding transactions from approval by the audit committee. At other times, he did it by causing lies to be told to the audit committee and the board of directors and shareholders."
[Print edition: Winnipeg Free Press]

Newswire: Great Article

So Conrad Black got caught. But how many aren't?

posted on Nov, 18 2005 @ 03:53 PM
Lord Black, that wonderfully practical man who married Barbara Amiel, another wonderful Canadian.

How can it be that such a marvellous couple, being the limitless consumers that we, as Canadians have grown to admire them as, has fallen afoul of the Law? Surely there must be a mistake! I thought we should all be emulating his ways and manners, knighthood and all.

Is there no justice left in this world that such a paragon of human kindness and extravagance is allowed to be imprisoned due to some pithy plundering?

Oh...the humanity....

(for the literalists...this is sarcasm)

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