Friday, July 13, 2007

Former Hollinger CEO convicted of fraud, obstruction of justice

A federal jury found former Hollinger International CEO Conrad Black guilty this morning of three counts of fraud and one count of obstructing justice:

The findings are expected to lead to prison time for the British Lord, who showed no visible reaction to the verdict Friday morning. Black faced a maximum of 35 years in prison for the offenses the jury convicted him of, plus a maximum penalty of $1 million.

A Chicago federal jury also found Black's three co-defendants guilty of three counts of mail fraud. They are former Hollinger International vice presidents John Boultbee, 64, of Vancouver and Peter Y. Atkinson, 60, of Toronto and attorney Mark Kipnis, 59, of Chicago.

The parties were expected to return to U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve's courtroom at 11:15 a.m. Friday morning to begin post-trial motions and discuss bonds. All four defendants waived their right to a jury for upcoming forfeiture trials.

Black's conviction marks the stunning downfall of one of Canada's most prominent businessmen, who used the power of the press to become an international celebrity, known as much for his right-wing views as for his jet-setting lifestyle.

During a period in the 1990s, Hollinger owned The Carthage Press and the Neosho Daily News.


Anonymous said...

Wow Randy, you sure are following this story closely. Is there something personal here? Were you at the Neosho or Carthage paper when Hollinger owned them?

This was left out of your reporting on the story, so I thought I'd add it for you:

"Black was however cleared of eight charges of fraud and one of racketeering related to the misuse of perks and the sale of newspapers in Canada."

What makes his views "right wing" in your opinion, Randy?

You have more than 20 blog entries on this topic, and never one reader comment. I guess I'm the first. Is there some personal grudge you maintain from the 90s regarding Hollinger?

Randy said...

I don't know what your problem is, but I have written about this topic because it is connected, albeit simply through a past ownership, with area newspapers. I have written similar stories about many other businesses in the area. As for being cleared of the other charges: 1. I put a link to the story, which you obviously followed, so I am not trying to hide anything from anyone; 2. He was convicted of four charges. I would say the fact that he is probably going to jail on those charges is more noteworthy than his not going to jail on the other charges. I have made a habit of giving the latest developments on many stories that are connected to this area, on everything ranging from the Conrad Black story to the Killeen, Texas, murders, to Allen Barbre signing with the Green Bay Packers, to developments in various lawsuits. It is no secret that I worked for The Carthage Press when Hollinger owned the newspaper. Most of the readers of this blog are aware of that. What I have to question is what your problem is, considering this has been pretty much straightforwarding updating of the developments in this case. Why does it bother you so much?

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's because no one but you cares about what happens to Conrad Black. It has zero to do with local news.

Anonymous said...

But it is local news, some of us worked for him one time or another and are interested. You read the news that you have an interest in and let us do the same.

Anonymous said...

I also worked for papers when they were owned by Hollinger, but this story has basically nothing to do with the local papers. It appears this blog dotes on them as a way of trying to link some local publications with this story...why I don't know, but it seems like a backdoor smear of local papers...

This whole thing is even more silly because most people who check blogs and other websites have read this all over the internet if they are interested. It's on all the national television newscasts today...Randy's "partial and partisan story" is old news.

Anonymous said...

Ummm...didn't the guy who currently runs Gatehouse (parent company of the Neosho Daily News, Carthage Press and Big Nickel) testify about how he was asked to funnel money directly to Black instead of to Hollinger during one newspaper deal? That's certainly a local concern.

And also on a local note, it is especially sad to think that money was diverted from local papers so that Black could line his own pockets with cash. Money that could have been invested in the local papers to improve their products.