The man who was Conrad Black’s trusted top associate for 30 years testified at the former media baron’s fraud trial on Tuesday how millions of dollars prosecutors claim were stolen began flowing to a Canadian company controlled by Black.
David Radler, who has pleaded guilty to a single count of fraud in the same case and faces 29 months in prison, detailed a $472 million sale of U.S. newspapers in 1998 that included $50 million in non-compete fees, part of which was siphoned off to the defendants.
Referring to Hollinger Inc., the company Black controlled, Radler said: “Mr. Black told me that Inc. deserved some of the non-compete monies that were being allocated.”
He said Inc. was the parent and as the parent it deserved a portion of the $50 million fee,” Radler said. “He said it was deserving. I listened. I certainly didn’t say no,” he added.
Radler said it was later determined that the Canadian company would get only $12 million.
But he said he did not disclose that information to the directors of Hollinger International Inc., the Chicago-based media company then also controlled by Hollinger Inc., which prosecutors say was cheated out of a total of $60 million from that deal and other transfers.