- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 20, 2005

CHICAGO (AP) — Former Chicago Sun-Times publisher David Radler pleaded guilty yesterday to taking part in a scheme to siphon away $32 million from Hollinger International Inc., the newspaper’s parent company, for himself and others.

Radler, who resigned in 2003, entered his guilty plea to one count of mail fraud in federal court. He has cooperated with prosecutors, who have said the investigation is ongoing. Radler remains free on bond.

“I plead guilty,” Radler told U.S. District Judge Amy J. St. Eve.

Radler was indicted Aug. 18 along with a former Hollinger International executive and Ravelston Corp., a private Toronto company owned until this spring by press titan Conrad Black, on five counts each of mail fraud and two counts of wire fraud.

They were accused of cheating shareholders in the United States and Canada, as well as Canadian tax authorities.

Mr. Black, the ousted CEO and chairman of Chicago-based Hollinger International, was not charged in the indictment. He had no comment yesterday on Radler’s plea, spokesman Jeff McAndrews said.

Mr. Black stepped down from Hollinger International under pressure in late 2003 after an internal investigation accused him and other executives of looting the company’s coffers of hundreds of millions of dollars.

The company removed Mr. Black, who has denied wrongdoing, as chairman in January 2004.

Radler’s attorney Anton Valukas said after court that Radler, 63, of Vancouver, British Columbia, feels “sorry and saddened for the pain he has caused.”

“This is the first step in making amends for what has taken place,” Mr. Valukas said.

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