Conrad Black’s lifelong business partner David Radler is almost certain to be sentenced to a prison term after pleading guilty to fraud charges in a court in Chicago yesterday.
Radler, who had worked with Lord Black since the late 1960s, was told that American federal prosecutors were recommending to the court that he serve 29 months in jail and pay a $250,000 fine (£140,000) — assuming that he co-operates fully.
If his co-operation falters, prosecutors will press for a sentence of five years and a fine of $500,000, although that scenario seems unlikely.
Anton Valukas, Radler’s lawyer, speaking after the morning hearing, said: “Mr Radler wanted me to say that this is his first step in making amends for what has happened.” Radler was the president and chief operating officer of Hollinger International, the newspaper group that used to own The Daily Telegraph. He and Lord Black had acted as partners in the newspaper business since the late 1960s.
The one-time deputy faced seven charges of fraud, amid allegations that he and other colleagues had diverted $32 million of money from Hollinger International in transactions “designed to enrich certain corporate officers”.