(Adds comments from Black)
By Andrea Hopkins
Aug 15 The U.S. securities regulator on Thursday
banned former press baron Conrad Black from acting as a director
of a U.S. company and said he must pay $4.1 million in
restitution in a settlement 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.
The final judgment by the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission 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 from the sale of newspapers as they unwound Hollinger
But two of his three fraud convictions were later voided and
his 78-month sentence was shortened to 42 months. He served 37
months, was released in May 2012 and now lives in Toronto.
"In the circumstances, and given the correlation of forces
and the defamation I endured, it is a very happy ending," Black
said in an email, noting that a libel suit related to the affair
had ended in a settlement. "The collapse of the onslaught
against me speaks for itself."
The SEC deal clears the way for the Ontario Securities
Commission, Canada's major securities regulator, to proceed with
its own case against Black and two other former Hollinger
In a hearing 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.
Black described the OSC action as a "technical matter."
"I am not aware of any monetary claim, or of any ground for
one," he said.
(Additional reporting by Janet Guttsman in Toronto; Editing by
Peter Galloway and Lisa Shumaker)