SEC bars Conrad Black from U.S. directorships; must pay $4.1 mln
Aug 15 (Reuters) - Former press baron Conrad Black is banned from acting as a director of a U.S. company and must pay $4.1 million in restitution in a settlement with the U.S. securities regulator that ends a long-standing lawsuit over Black's dealings as the head of the Hollinger media empire.
In its heyday, Hollinger International operated a raft of newspapers that included the Chicago Sun-Times, the Jerusalem Post, Britain's Daily Telegraph and the National Post in Black's native Canada. Black, 68, gave up Canadian citizenship when he became a member of Britain's House of Lords, taking the title Lord Black of Crossharbour.
The final judgment by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, announced on Thursday, followed Black's appeal of an October 2012 SEC judgment that ordered him to pay $6.1 million. He was released from U.S. prison more than a year ago after serving a sentence for fraud and obstruction of justice.
The $4.1 million will be paid to Chicago Newspaper Liquidation Corp, formerly known as the Sun-Times Media Group, which was a Hollinger successor company in the United States.
Black was found guilty in 2007 of scheming with partner David Radler and other executives to siphon off millions of dollars in proceeds from the sale of newspapers as they unwound Hollinger International.
But two of his three fraud convictions were later voided and his 78-month sentence was shortened to 42 months. He served 37 months and was released in May 2012.
Black did not immediately reply to a request for comment. He currently resides in Toronto.
The SEC deal clears the way for the Ontario Securities Commission, Canada's major securities regulator, to proceed with a similar case against Black and two other former Hollinger executives, alleging that the then-directors of the company created a scheme to use the sale of several newspapers to divert proceeds from Hollinger to themselves.
The OSC hearing is scheduled to begin on Friday. The regulator wants to ban Black from buying or trading in securities and from becoming a director of a public company in Ontario. (Reporting by Andrea Hopkins in Toronto; Editing by Peter Galloway)
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