Sep 1, 2004 12:23 am
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Honor Among Thieves
No wonder Richard Perle digs convicted embezzler Ahmed Chalabi so – they're two perps in a pod:
- Press tycoon Conrad M. Black and other top Hollinger International Inc. officials pocketed more than $400 million in company money over seven years and Black's handpicked board of directors passively approved many of the transactions, a company investigation concluded.
A report by a special board committee singled out director Richard N. Perle, a former Defense Department official, who received $5.4 million in bonuses and compensation. The report said Perle should return the money to the Chicago-based company.
- The new report, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission late Monday, added details of what it called the" corporate kleptocracy" Black and Radler created at Hollinger. It said they treated the company as a"piggybank" and fashion accessory, with Black using the prestige of the newspapers to gain access to the wealthy, powerful and royal.
For example, the report said Black and his wife, Barbara Amiel Black, treated the Hollinger corporate jet as a private shuttle between cities such as Chicago and Toronto and vacation spots. They took frequent trips to Palm Springs and one 33-hour round trip to Bora Bora, which cost the company $530,000, the report said. It also said Black charged the company $90,000 to refurbish a Rolls-Royce, and used $8 million in company money to buy memorabilia of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, about whom Black wrote a book.
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