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
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]