Ravelston Given More Time To Plea In Hollinger Criminal Case

By: E&P Staff

A U.S. District Court on Thursday gave the Canadian firm running bankrupt Ravelston Corp. more time to determine how to plead to criminal charges. The former Conrad Black-controlled holding company allegedly participated in a scheme to siphon millions from Hollinger International, the company that owns the Chicago Sun-Times, Reuters reported.

The U.S. attorney conducting the investigation into the allegations had threatened to treat the corporation as a “fugitive from justice” if Ravelston representatives did not appear at the arraignment scheduled for Thursday.

U.S. District Court Judge Amy St. Eve set a new hearing date on the matter for Oct. 5.

In another development, Queens University in Ontario said it would remove David Radler’s name from its business school, and return the donation the former Chicago Sun-Times publisher made in 2002.

On Tuesday, Radler, the long-time Black lieutenant who was also chief operating officer of Hollinger International, pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud, and admitted participating in the scheme to improperly divert company funds to entities owned by him and Black. Under a plea agreement, he would serve 229 months in prison and pay a $250,000 fine after cooperating with a continuing investigation that is believed to be aimed at Black.

A third defendant in the criminal case, former company general counsel Mark Kipnis, has pleaded not guilty to seven charges of fraud.

Separately, Hollinger Inc., another holding company Black once used to control his newspaper empire, announced Thursday that James Wright, who joined the board last July, had been named chairman of the board.

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