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Last Updated: Monday, 15 November 2004, 17:21 GMT
Lord Black is charged with fraud
Former Hollinger International chief executive Conrad Black
Lord Black is facing a raft of legal challenges
Media tycoon Lord Black has been charged with fraud by US regulators.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said it was seeking an undisclosed amount of fines from the former owner of the Daily Telegraph.

Lord Black and his deputy are said to have fraudulently diverted some $85m (46m) from newspaper group Hollinger International between 1994 and 2003.

The SEC said Lord Black and David Radler treated the company as if it was "their personal piggy bank".

'Cheat and fraud'

"Instead of carrying out their responsibilities to protect the interest of public shareholders, the defendants cheated and defrauded these shareholders through a series of deceptive schemes and misstatements," said Stephen Cutler, director of the SEC's division of enforcement.

The company will defend the charges brought against it
Lawyer for Lord Black's Hollinger Inc

The civil lawsuit also seeks to ban Lord Black and Mr Radler, from being company directors.

Lord Black does not, however, face the possibility of a jail sentence, as the lawsuit is a civil, rather than criminal matter.

The US agency has also charged Hollinger Inc, the Canadian firm Lord Black heads, and which continues to part-own US media group Hollinger International.

Tycoon's troubles

Lord Black, one of the best-known media magnates, is accused of funnelling off funds from Hollinger International, for his own personal use.

Nathan Eimer, who is representing Hollinger Inc, said he has not seen the civil complaint, but said the company "will defend the charges brought against it."

In a separate pending lawsuit, Hollinger International claims Lord Black stole $380.6m (206m) to fund everything from a private jet to a Rolls-Royce and even payments to his butler.

Although he was forced to resign from Hollinger International in November 2003, he has denied the charges.

Hollinger Inc, a holding company with a number of media and other assets, owns 18% of Hollinger International.

While that may seem an insignificant amount, it gives the firm 68% of the Hollinger International's voting rights.

Details of the charges brought against Lord Black

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