TORONTO - Former Hollinger Inc. executive and Conrad Black co-defendant Peter Atkinson is being asked to pay back $10,000 in legal costs as part of a Law Society of Upper Canada decision.
A Law Society hearing last month found that Atkinson engaged in conduct unbecoming for a barrister and solicitor in relation to mail fraud convictions handed down in a Chicago court in much-publicized case eight years ago.
The society had already suspended Atkinson for two years as of Aug. 30, 2008, but is now limiting the scope of his practice for another two years.
The June 17 decision, released Tuesday, says Atkinson may only provide legal services as an employee of a licensee or as part of a contract, and prohibits him from practising as a sole practitioner or as partner in a firm.
He has also been asked to pay costs to the Law Society within a month of the decision.
Black, Atkinson and John Boultbee have been scheduled to appear before the Ontario Securities Commission on Aug. 16 to face charges initially filed in March 2005.
Those charges were put on hold due to legal action in the U.S., but the OSC said last week it had decided to restart its case since those proceedings have wrapped up.
Black, Boultbee and Peter Atkinson are accused of cheating shareholders and tax authorities in the U.S. and Canada by improperly diverting proceeds from the now-defunct media giant Hollinger International to themselves through "non-competition'' payments.
It's alleged they did not have approval for these payments, and had made misrepresentations about them through public disclosure.
The men 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 for removing documents from the Toronto offices of Hollinger.
The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals later tossed two of the fraud convictions after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that one of the laws used to convict had been too broadly applied. However, the appeal court ruled that one conviction for fraud and Black's obstruction of justice conviction were not affected by the high court's decision.
He was sentenced to 42 months and fined $125,000, serving 37 months in a Florida prison.
Boultbee was sentenced to time served, fined $500 and ordered to pay $15,000 in restitution to the Sun-Times Media Group. Atkinson was given time served and fined $3,000.