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CHICAGO � The U.S. government gave its closing arguments this week in the trial of former Hollinger International Chairman Conrad Black and three co-defendants, moving the three month-old trial toward a conclusion. Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie Ruder delivered the government’s recap of how Black and the other former Hollinger executives defrauded the company’s shareholders when they took $60 million in non-compete payments in connection with the media company’s sale of some newspaper properties. The government says that the payments weren’t requested by the buyers of the newspapers and weren’t properly disclosed to Hollinger shareholders. The government also says Black took millions of dollars in illegitimate perks. On trial with Black are former Hollinger corporate counsel Mark Kipnis and former Hollinger executive vice presidents John Boultbee and Peter Atkinson. Their attorneys may finish with closing arguments this week also, with the conclusion of the trial after government rebuttal either this week or next. Black’s defense team is headed by Chicago attorney Edward Genson and Toronto attorney Edward Greenspan. Boultbee is represented by Patrick Tuite of Chicago’s Arnstein & Lehr, and Atkinson is represented by former Southern District of New York U.S. Attorney Benito Romano, now a lawyer with Willkie, Farr & Gallagher. Former Chicago federal prosecutor Ron Safer represents Kipnis. Ruder is part of a four member prosecutorial team led by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Sussman and overseen by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.

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