Judge: No RICO Charge in Conrad Black Suit

By: E&P Staff Fired Chairman Conrad Black and other key executives accused by Hollinger International Inc. of "looting" the Chicago-based publisher cannot be sued for racketeering, a federal judge ruled in a decision made public Tuesday.

U.S. District Court Judge Blanche Manning in Chicago reaffirmed the ruling she made last October that Hollinger International could not use the federal RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act to recover as much as $1.25 billion -- or three times the claimed actual damages of $381 million -- from Black, former Chicago Sun-Times Publisher F. David Radler, and others.

The company can continue to pursue its claim that it suffered actual damages because the executives took millions in improper fees, payments, and insider deals.

The ruling was first reported today by Reuters, which said it obtained a copy of the ruling, dated Feb. 3.


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