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Fraud at the Sun-Times (And no, we don't mean Michael Sneed's "reporting.")

By Aaron Bailey in News on Aug 19, 2005 4:54PM

20050819-ST-cover.jpgKeeping up with the scandal at the Sun-Times isn't easy. The story has unfolded like a Greek tragedy, without (so far) the murder and incest.

If you're behind, here's the scoop. The Chicago Sun-Times and a number of suburban newspapers are owned by Chicago-based Hollinger International, which is owned by Toronto-based Hollinger, Inc., which in turn is owned by a number of holding companies owned mostly by Conrad Black, who in turn is owned, like most men, by his wife.

In 2003, Black and his minions were ousted from Hollinger after some shady business deals went down involving selling assets from one Hollinger International to holding companies and then paying themselves large transaction fees.

No criminal charges had been filed, until yesterday, when a federal grand jury indicted former S-T publisher David Radler on fraud. U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald says Radler and a Hollinger attorney embezzled $32 million in funds.

Here's where the story gets good: Radler is cooperating with federal investigators, which we hope means that he's selling his old pal Conrad up the river for a reduced sentence.

This saga is far from over and indictments against Black are certainly ahead. Stay tuned for more drama.