Conrad Black charged with fraud

Conrad Black, the former CEO and chairman of Hollinger International, was
indicted yesterday on eight charges of criminal fraud.

Three other former executives, Mark Kipnis, Jack Boultbee, and Peter
Atkinson, were also listed in the 11-count indictment by Patrick Fitzgerald, the
US attorney in Chicago.

It is alleged that Lord Black orchestrated a $32m (£19m) fraud at the
company, and that with the three other executives he siphoned off $51.8m from
the sale of company assets worth $2.1bn in 2000.

Lord Black’s former right-hand man, David Radler, has already admitted one
charge of mail fraud and agreed to testify against the others.

Black, the former owner of a media empire which included the Daily Telegraph,
faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each charge if
found guilty.

KPMG was the auditor of the firm at the time the offences were alleged to
have occurred, and continues to work for the firm. Ernst & Young was
appointed as inspector by the court and has been examining the accounts of
Hollinger and its parent company in Canada as part of the investigation since
September 2004.

Black resigned from Hollinger in November 2003 and denies the charges

Related reading