DAVID RADLER THEN: CONRAD BLACK'S RIGHT-HAND MAN WHAT HAPPENED: CHARGED WITH FRAUD NOW: PLEADED GUILTY TO ONE CHARGE; RUNNING A NEWSPAPER COMPANY
Not much has been heard from David Radler since he scurried out of a Chicago courtroom last year after pleading guilty to one charge of fraud. Under a plea agreement that will see him spend 29 months in prison, Radler is expected to be a star witness for the prosecution against his former colleagues at Hollinger International Inc., including Conrad Black.
For 36 years, Black and Radler were virtually inseparable. Together, they built a newspaper empire that peaked at 600 titles in Canada, the U.K., the U.S. and Israel. But in late 2004, a year after allegations surfaced about wrongdoing at Hollinger International, Radler began quietly co-operating with U.S. prosecutors. It's hard to know what prompted him to give up his old friend, but the death of Radler's father in June, 2004, might have been a trigger.
Things haven't been easy for Radler, who's now 64, since he made his plea agreement in September, 2005, and was released on $500,000 (U.S.) bail. Queen's University announced it was stripping his name from a wing of its business school and giving back his $1-million donation. At the request of Hollinger Inc., a B.C. court has put a freeze on Radler's assets, limiting his spending to $25,000 a month. (Radler can still challenge the order.)
Radler spends much of his time in Vancouver, where he's trying to keep up with his main business venture, Horizon Operations Ltd., and its stateside sister, Horizon Publications Inc. Horizon owns about 40 small newspapers in the United States and Canada. But even this enterprise has a cloud over it. In a document filed in court, prosecutors have alleged that when Black and Radler bought papers for Horizon from Hollinger, they "negotiated an agreement with themselves," producing a discount price. Black has denied the allegation. The two remained co-owners of Horizon until earlier this year, when Black sold his stake for around $16 million, according to court filings. The two men are believed to still jointly own another company, Bradford Publishing Co.
Documents filed in court show that Radler has had to work at keeping Horizon afloat. In a memo dated March 3, 2006, he told Horizon debt holders, who included Black, that it was possible the company would need to raise more capital to meet an upcoming financial obligation. Another internal e-mail from a lawyer, dated around the same time, discusses the difficulties the Horizon companies were having in making quarterly payments on a credit facility. And a transcript of a voice mail dated June 22, 2006, also filed in court, indicated that Black was causing some difficulties for Horizon by not agreeing to sign an unspecified extension agreement with banks.
This fall, Radler got back to his roots when he became a partner in the Sherbrooke Record, where he and Black began their newspaper careers in 1969.
ROBERT CAMPEAU THEN: HEADED A RETAIL AND REAL ESTATE EMPIRE WHAT HAPPENED: COMPANIES FILED FOR BANRUPTCY NOW: RUNNING OUT OF MONEY
Robert Campeau's lawyers figure he'll be flat broke by February-a sad fate for someone once celebrated as one of Canada's best-known businessmen and one of the 10 sexiest men alive.
In the 1980s, Campeau orchestrated two stunning takeovers in the United States, a $3.5-billion (U.S.) acquisition of Allied Stores Corp. and a $6.6-billion (U.S.) deal for Federated Department Stores Inc. Between the stores and his real estate holdings, Campeau's empire was worth an estimated $10 billion. Campeau, who'd come from nothing, capped his achievement by building a 30,000-square-foot, chateau-style mansion, complete with 13 bathrooms, on Toronto's exclusive Bridle Path.
But by 1990, Campeau Corp. was buckling under its debt, and Allied and Federated filed for bankruptcy protection. Ousted from the company, Campeau retreated to Austria with his second wife, Ilse. A planned comeback building housing in Berlin did not come to fruition.
Campeau returned to Canada in 2001 suffering from clinical depression. While being treated in Guelph, Ontario, Campeau learned that "my marriage to Ilse of 31 years had ended," according to a document filed in court. The relationship had been in trouble for years. Campeau was already involved with Christel Dettmann, whom he had met in Berlin.Report Typo/Error