Federal U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said in a court filing late Monday in Chicago that prosecutors are investigating possible criminal violations by Black, Radler and others concerning payments by the publishing company to the executives, sales of Hollinger newspapers to entities they controlled, and other transactions, reported Crain's Chicago Business Tuesday.
"We've known for some time that they've been looking into these matters and this confirms it," a spokesman for Black told Crain's. "We welcome a fair-minded investigation."
Black has been sued by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and is the subject of a Canadian investigation.
The Chicago court filing, the first indication that Black and others are the subject of a criminal investigation, requested that a unnamed document requested by the defendants not be disclosed.
Fitzgerald's filing said blocking the document's disclosure was necessary to "protect the substantial public interests at stake in a related and overlapping criminal investigation currently pending in the Northern District of Illinois."