Securities regulator delays proceeding for Black, Boultbee back by 2 days

TORONTO – The Ontario Securities Commission has delayed a proceeding involving former newspaper baron Conrad Black and former Hollinger Inc. director John Boultbee.

A pre-conference hearing dealing with fallout from their involvement in a complicated system of non-compete payments involving Hollinger Inc. and Hollinger had been scheduled for Monday. It is now rescheduled for Wednesday.

Former Hollinger executive Peter Atkinson, the third man named in the hearing notification, reached a settlement with the OSC in September.

The OSC alleges directors and officers of Hollinger Inc. and Hollinger International engaged in “a scheme” to line their pockets with company proceeds through a system of non-competition payments.

The securities regulator announced in July that it would move ahead with proceedings to determine whether Black, Boultbee and Atkinson should be banned from buying or trading in securities and from becoming directors of public companies in Ontario.

In his settlement agreement, Atkinson agreed to a deal that forever bars him from acting as a director or an officer of a public company in Ontario. He is also banned from acquiring any securities of Hollinger Inc.

Black, Atkinson and Boultbee, were found guilty of three counts of fraud each by a U.S. jury in 2007, and Black was also convicted of one count of obstruction of justice, but two of the three fraud convictions against the men were overturned on appeal.

Black’s lawyer has said he was considering a request to have the OSC proceedings stayed because similar issues had already been dealt with through years of litigation in the United States, including a settlement reached with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. That agreement, announced in August, bars Black from acting as a director of a public company in the United States.