A federal grand jury indicted Conrad M. Black, the prominent and flashy media entrepreneur, on eight counts of mail and wire fraud today along with three of his deputies, the United States Attorney for Chicago, Patrick Fitzgerald, said.
The charges are the culmination of an investigation into a series of complex transactions that prosecutors contend Lord Black and his associates used to enrich themselves of millions of dollars at the expense of the two publicly traded companies, Hollinger International Inc. and Hollinger Inc., that he controlled in Chicago and Toronto.
Hollinger International at one time published several newspapers around the world including The Daily Telegraph in London, The National Post in Toronto and The Jerusalem Post, as well as The Chicago Sun-Times, which it still owns. The company was at one time the third largest newspaper company by circulation. Hollinger Inc. was a holding company that controlled Hollinger International. Lord Black served as chairman and chief executive of both entities.
The indictment outlines two schemes that Lord Black and his aides are accused of devising and executing over the last few years. The first scheme helped divert $51.8 million in 2000 from a $2.1 billion sale of newspapers to the executives, according to Mr. Fitzgerald