After a 12-day deliberation, a Chicago jury has found Conrad Black
of 13 counts of criminal fraud and the obstruction of justice.
But the former Hollinger International chairman has been found innocent of
racketeering and tax evasion.
The 62-year-old media mogul and three others – former Hollinger Vice
President Peter Atkinson, 60, and ex-Chief Financial Officer John Boultbee, 64 –
were accused of pilfering $60m (£29.5m) in payments which were meant to benefit
his former newspaper company.
The money was disguised as payments made in exchange for the executives’
agreeing not to compete with newspapers Hollinger sold between 1998 and 2001 for
about $3 billion, prosecutors claimed.
At the time of the fraud, Hollinger was the world’s third-largest publisher
of English-language newspapers with well-known titles which included the UK’s
Daily Telegraph, Canada’s National Post, the Jerusalem Post and hundreds of
community newspapers in the US and Canada.
A fourth defendant, former General Counsel Mark Kipnis, 59, is accused of
helping the others steal the money,
The case, which saw Britain’s House of Lords member endure 15 weeks of
testimony which exposed personal details of his lavish lifestyle, could also
result in Black facing millions in fines and a 20-year prison sentence.
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