Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Black To Go Down, Murdoch Next In Spotlight?

By Cernig

It's gone almost un-noticed here in the U.S. but there's a major trial underway of a rightwing media mogul for - you guessed it - fraud and corruption. Conrad Black, late of the UK's Telegraph and Hollinger International, is almost certain to go down. His lawyer has gotten to the desperation point of claiming he is "a stubborn but innocent man, the victim of manipulative, over-reaching government prosecutors and shareholders who wanted to break up his publishing company."

Black is facing charges of mail fraud, wire fraud, obstruction of justice, racketeering and filing false tax returns and is accused with three other former Hollinger executives of pilfering $60 million in so-called non-competition payments that prosecutors contend belonged to the company and its shareholders.

I would bet a few bucks that this case is, at the end of the day, behind a reported major New York Times investigation of Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch has already been under investigation in the UK for unfair and restrictive business practises and is known to work several tax dodges here in the U.S. The NY Times may well be working on the assumption that if he's conservative and he's involved in multi-million dollar businesses, he's probably got a few skeletons in closets. Based on the evidence of previous scandals (Black, Cunningham, Abramoff), they are most likely onto a sure thing there.

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