- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 17, 2005

CHICAGO (AP) — Conrad Black, who once controlled the Hollinger International media empire, was charged with three other executives yesterday with looting millions of dollars from the company, cheating on taxes and using corporate accounts to finance his lavish lifestyle.

“What has gone on here is the grossest abuse by directors and insiders,” U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald said in announcing the 11-count indictment.

An arrest warrant was issued for the 61-year-old Mr. Black, a former Canadian citizen who is now a member of the British House of Lords. Mr. Fitzgerald said that if he fails to appear before Judge Amy St. Eve to answer the charges, the government will seek to have him extradited.

Hollinger International Inc. owns the Chicago Sun-Times and other publications in the United States and Canada and formerly controlled the Daily Telegraph of London and the Jerusalem Post.

The indictment charges that Hollinger International’s $2.1 billion sale of several hundred U.S. and Canadian publishing properties was rife with fraud.

The indictment follows by two months former Sun-Times Publisher David Radler’s guilty plea to charges of taking part in a scheme to siphon $32 million in proceeds from the sale of newspaper properties in the United States and Canada through bogus contracts with purchasers.

According to the indictment, another defendant, John A. “Jack” Boultbee, 62, of Toronto, swindled Hollinger International out of millions of dollars by having the company pay for the renovation of one Park Avenue apartment for Mr. Black’s servants and buying another Park Avenue apartment from the company at far below the fair price.

Besides Mr. Black and Mr. Boultbee, those charged are Peter Y. Atkinson, 58, a Canadian attorney, and Mark S. Kipnis, 58, of suburban Northbrook, Ill., who served as secretary to Hollinger International’s board of directors when the board was approving some of the agreements.

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