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Conrad Black: Indicted

HNN: Black is the author of a recent biography of FDR that won rave reviews.

Conrad Black, who once ran a media empire that included the Chicago Sun-Times, was indicted today on eight counts of mail and wire fraud. Three other former executives were also charged in a federal fraud indictment today involving the sale of several hundred Canadian newspapers.

Black, 61, fraudulently funneled $51.8 million to himself and three business associates, disguising them as “non-competition agreements” when he sold several hundred Canadian newspapers and half the National Post to CanWest for $2.1 billion in 2000, according to the indictment. He lied to Hollinger shareholders at the 2002 shareholders meeting to cover it up, the indictment states.

Black and one of the associates also are accused of misusing corporate perks, including a company jet for a vacation by Black and his wife in Bora Bora, two Park Avenue apartments in New York City, and corporate funds to throw a lavish birthday party for Black’s wife at La Grenouille restaurant in New York City.

The 2000 party for Black’s wife cost $62,000. Black kicked in $20,000 himself, but stuck Hollinger International with $42,000 of the bill, even though little if any business was involved, the indictment said. Wine and champagne at the affair ran $13,935. He served 80 dinners at $195 a plate.

Read entire article at Chicago Sun-Times