looking black for Conrad

But they're easily confused

All is not well in Conrad Black‘s heart of darkness.

Possibly Canada’s most literate alleged criminal, Black has just successfully defended himself from an attempt to revoke his bail and stick him in the pokey. He was less successful, however, in his attempt to prevent charges of tax evasion from being added to the sordid mix.

The CBC has the story:

On Aug. 10, a U.S. judge raised Black‘s bond by $1 million in cash to $21 million US, saying the toppled media baron had misrepresented how much he was worth.

The Canadian-born 61-year-old is scheduled to go on trial in March 2007 on racketeering and fraud charges, accused of looting millions of dollars from Hollinger International Inc. when he headed the media empire.

Judge Amy St. Eve of the U.S. District Court in Chicago, who is overseeing Black‘s upcoming trial, agreed with prosecutors that Black had misstated the worth of his assets, but denied their request to revoke his bond and jail the 61-year-old.

In related news, he’s filed a revised “oops, forgot about those millions” statement listing additional money his wife has loaned him since his income stream became uh, became uh, constrained. Relatively speaking.

AccountingWeb (whodathunk there’d be such a thing?) has his number:

A revised affidavit, filed last month, says that his wife loaned him $2.3 million between January and April of this year. “Essentially, it appears that whenever Black needs money, his wife (or at the very least, her corporation) stands ready to provide millions of dollars in cash without so much as a promissory note,” prosecutors said in court papers filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. “The Blacks have a unique financial arrangement into which the government and this court have little or no information.”

Now, Barbara Amiel-Black, known previously as Lady Black Barbara Amiel Blackof Crossharbour and before that simply as Barbara Amiel and, around Toronto newsrooms as a bit of a femme fatale, is a journalist. She’s a columnist. Sure, being Conrad Black‘s wife didn’t hurt her when she was out knocking on doors, asking papers to carry her column (like Chicago, where she was not loved). But it must be admitted that very few journalists, not even Polly Toynbee, are so vastly overpaid that they can loan out $2.3 million at will. Maybe she’s taken some of those rocks she’s so fond of to the pawn shop.

The report cites a wide range of personal expenses the Blacks allegedly charged to the company, including $2,463 for handbags and $3,530 for silverware for the Blacks’ corporate jet. Amiel Black is said to have charged the company for tips she gave a doorman at Bergdorf-Goodman, an expensive Manhattan clothing store. In 2000, Hollinger International paid $42,870 for a “Happy Birthday, Barbara” dinner party at New York’s La Grenouille restaurant. Guests at the $212-a-plate party included Oscar de la Renta and Barbara Walters

and there’s this:

Timson also recalled the time Barbara was walking along Toronto’s Bloor Street with a friend when a man passed by, smilingly acknowledging Barbara. “Who was that?” the friend asked.

“I’m not sure,” she replied, “but I think it was my first husband.”

I must say, however, that he has lawyered up in quite an impressive manner indeed. It may never be the same attorney twice, but they all seem to be a dab hand with the snappy quote:

Black’s attorney Ed Genson told the Sun-Times: “They ought to start filing their pleadings like lawyers and not short story writers.”

Very nice. When I’m down to my wife’s last $2.3 million, I want Ed Genson in my corner too. Mind you, it must be maddening to work for Black; by the time you’ve gotten back from giving your press conference, he’ll have faxed you a complete, footnoted and annotated list of where you could have improved and the changes he’d like to see for next time.

5 thoughts on “looking black for Conrad

  1. raincoaster said:

    ‘Very nice. When I’m down to my wife’s last $2.3 million’

    but over on Guido(?) you were rating your tits as job winners!

    I have a very confused – and distasteful image in my brain – help me remove it


  2. Well I would never marry Barbara Amiel (although that would be legal in Canada) but I would take her money.

    My tits are excellent, even if Tony Blair’s are almost as big!

    Someone very wise once said “If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gives it to.”

  3. It looks at though at present Ms Amiel is holding her nose and standing by her man. but for how long? anyone like to place any bets?

  4. Indeed, her assets are now frozen too, I believe. She could be facing criminal charges as well. Back just fought off an attempt to revoke his bail because of financial strangeness between him and his wife. We shall see how it plays out; I think the trial is due in a few months.

  5. Pingback: Rebloggable: Conrad Freaking Black « raincoaster

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