Ex-international right wing newspaper tycoon, former CEO of Hollinger, Conrad Black (was) found guilty on four of 13 charges
'Bail to be decided next week, sentencing in November,' was the Toronto headline from his former newspaper 'The Financial Post'.
After 15 weeks of trial, and 11 full days of deliberation, a jury in Chicago found Conrad Black guilty Friday on multiple fraud charges related to non-compete agreements and one more serious charge -- obstruction of justice..
Potentially, Lord Black faces 35 years in prison and a US$1-million fine. The fines could be much greater if Lord Black is forced to forfeit property that the court deems were acquired with the proceeds of the fraud.
The likelihood is that he will have to serve physically at least 5 years in prison, (he should have ample time to write a couple of books) because of the seriousness of the charges; the fraud and obsruction of justice offences (Black was seen on security cameras personally removing his files, from a freight elevator at his Toronto offices, when he had been ordered to hand them over to the American Department of Justice)
Patrick Fitzgerald the chief prosecutor said "We're gratfifed by the jury's verdict." He is now a convicted felon." Of course we all know what Bush thinks about serving time for an obstruction of justice offence, prosecuted by Fitzgerald. You don't think?
Conrad Black was the darling of the neocons (despite a falling out over almost as lavish $pending by former Hollinger director 'prince of darkness', Richard Perle). Black personally advanced the careers of many conservative pundits such as David Frum.
And if you have wondered why Wizbang classic favorite Mark Steyn has been quiet lately? Well, he has been covering the trial for, Canada's 'Maclean's' Magazine and he tried to give the verdict the stereotypical 'Fox News' kind of reaction
Conrad Black was found NOT GUILTY of racketeering, NOT GUILTY of tax fraud, NOT GUILTY of the CanWest scheme, NOT GUILTY on Bora Bora, the Park Avenue apartment and Barbara's birthday party, NOT GUILTY on the individual non-competes on US newspaper sales.
He has been found GUILTY in just two narrow areas - "obstruction of justice"..and three "mail fraud" counts relating to the APC non-compete agreement.
And Conrad's longtime friend and prodigy David Frum; no word yet on his reaction, but Frum has written that "Conrad Black was one of those unusual people who decided early on that he was not going to be afraid and that he was going to live the truth." Yes indeed except for spending a few years now, in 'the pogey' for fraud.
I suppose we should leave the last words to Conrad Black himself, as quoted by. 'The Times' columnist Peter Stothard.."The last words I recall us exchanging were at a particularly tight moment of the 1990's newspaper price war when he (Conrad Black) whispered to me at a party given by Lord Weidenfeld: 'what you and Rupert (Murdoch) don't understand is just how rich I am"
Perhaps the perfect epitaph for Black (and many of his ilk) is Balzac's quote, "Behind every great fortune there is a great crime".
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