Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Conrad Black's Canadian Holding Company Gets Steep Fines

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Conrad Black's Canadian Holding Company Gets Steep Fines

Article excerpt

The Canadian holding company that served as the nerve center of media mogul Conrad Black's newspaper empire was fined $7 million Wednesday and ordered to pay $6 million in restitution for its part in a massive shareholder fraud.

Ravelston Corp., a Toronto-based company that now is in the Canadian equivalent of Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, has so many debts and so little money that there is doubt that either the fine or restitution will ever be paid, company officials said.

"The prospect of any money being paid on the fine or the restitution order I would say is highly remote," said Robert Kofman, Ravelston's receiver.

Black, 63, and three other men are to be sentenced Dec. 10 their roles in a sweeping fraud scheme that the government says cost shareholders in media giant Hollinger International Inc. $32.5 million.

Ravelston, out of Black's control since 2005 even though he is the majority shareholder, pleaded guilty in March to one count of fraud involving the sale of Hollinger International newspapers to Forum Communications Inc. for $14 million.

The company admitted that it took part in siphoning some of the proceeds and agreed to pay the $7 million fine.

Conrad Black Capital Corp. still owns 65 percent of the stock.

Black used his stake in Ravelston to control another Canadian holding company, Hollinger Inc., which in turn controlled Hollinger International.

When Black was chairman of Hollinger International, the company owned The Daily Telegraph of London, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Jerusalem Post, as well as hundreds of U. …

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