JWG via DTN 15 January 2023 JT and Rae have been reading the tar baby saga and are trying hard…
Conrad Black after the trial
Edward Greenspan rebuts Conrad Black
(Globe&Mail) Conrad’s flawed account of his own trial is a reminder of how seldom an accused person actually grasps what is going on in court. Most defendants in a criminal trial realize that they shouldn’t expect to understand the process. That is what hiring experienced criminal counsel is all about.
Conrad Black rebuts (sort of) : I’m telling you for the last time
(National Post) Even my more vocal and consistent critics seem to agree that my family and I have had a rather rough sleigh-ride through these events over the last eight years. And so it is not clear to me why one prominent Toronto reviewer, who was a very hostile chronicler of the trial, has any difficulty accepting the grace of my conversion on some aspects of how the U.S. justice system operates, now that I know it as few other veterans of it still standing do.
Douglas Bell reviews “A Matter of Principle”: Conrad Black comes out zinging
(Globe & Mail) it’s four years later and inmate 18330-424 (as the author signs himself concluding the book’s main narrative) has travelled a considerable distance, literally and metaphorically, from the House of Lords to Coleman Federal Correctional Institution to the Supreme Court of the United States and back – after a year out on bail – to Miami FCI (there to remain, according to the Bureau of Prisons, until next May 5).
And, as you might expect, the book that Crossharbour sends into the world as a chronicle of this caged odyssey is the scribbling equivalent of a rolling 50-car pile-up on the 401. You simply cannot turn away. He is by turns eloquent, mordant, funny (as hell), angry (ferociously and acidly), small (no slight too insignificant), generous and, above all, utterly unself-conscious and, it must be said, at times wincingly self-destructive.
Ex-media mogul Conrad Black goes back to jail
Deposed media mogul Conrad Black traded tailored suits for prison garb for the second time Tuesday after failing to fully clear himself of fraud and obstruction charges, U.S. prison officials said.
“My only fear for the next seven months is the sadness of being separated from (my wife) Barbara, although I am also resigned to tedium,” Black wrote in a farewell column in Canada’s National Post Saturday.
Black booted from Florida prison because female guards afraid of him: report “My reaction is that no inanity, stupidity or malicious inconvenience inflicted by the Bureau of Prisons surprises me”.
Vanity Fair Exclusive: Conrad Black on Life in Prison, Maintaining His Innocence, and Why He Blames Rupert Murdoch and News Corp. for His Legal Woes
Black also weighs in on Rupert Murdoch’s current troubles: “It has been for decades a rigorously micro-managed company and Rupert Murdoch has created and flaunted an attitude of unlimited right to intrude on, harass, and, to the limit that may be legally feasible, defame people whom he or his editors target,” he says. “The News Corp. company ethos is one of lawlessness and unrestrained liberty self-righteously to do what it wants, inflated by notions of decisive political influence. I doubt if he personally ordered telephone or Internet intercepts on individuals, but he must have known that some of his employees did them routinely, going back, at the latest, to some of the famous cell-phone conversations of the Prince of Wales. Murdoch deserves all the credit for building so powerful a company that most of its institutional self-confidence was justified, and most of the discredit for the sleazy way he operated it. I would add that I was more offended by the cowardice and hypocrisy of those in the British establishment who licked his boots—not to mention other places—for decades, and now swaddle themselves in shock sanctimony, than I was by the offensive activities.”
Conrad Black’s ‘candid’ memoir to be released in fall
A new Conrad Black memoir described as being “unflinchingly revealing” is expected to hit bookstore shelves this fall.
Publisher McClelland & Stewart says the book, titled A Matter of Principle, recounts Black’s life from 1993 to 2011, including his time in prison.
M&S president Doug Pepper says the book, originally titled “The Fight of My Life,” includes “candid” reflections on Black’s marriage and close friendships.
Conrad Black to return to jail, Barbara Amiel collapses
(Toronto Star) At the front of the court, Conrad Black stood stoically as a judge ruled his debt to America is not yet fully paid. The former press baron barely flinched at being ordered back to prison.
And at that very moment, just a few metres away, unbeknownst to Black, his wife Barbara Amiel lay prostrate, silently collapsing upon hearing U.S. Federal Court Judge Amy St. Eve utter the only words that mattered — “forty-two months.” (National Post) Six lessons gleaned from the Conrad Black case
Conrad Black sells Florida mansion
(Canada.com) Conrad Black has sold his Florida mansion for an estimated $25 million US and has moved to New York.
Conrad Black: Prisons should be repair shops, not garbage dumps
I oppose the death penalty, because mistakes inevitably will be made, and because the spectacle of the state ceremoniously taking a life is barbarous and disgusting, and demeans everyone in the society that approves the practice. I am no hemophiliac bleeding heart, but nor am I one of the “hang ‘em, jail ‘em, flog ‘em” set. The [Conservative government’s Roadmap to Strengthening Public Safety] takes no account of the special circumstances of First Nations people, who would be its chief victims, nor of the steady decline in most categories of crime as the population ages and law enforcement techniques become more sophisticated.
It should never be the objective of the state to shatter the family and personal life of prisoners. Even those thought to be probably incorrigible are entitled to the retention of some connection to people not similarly situated who want to see them; and it is indisputable that normal family, romantic and friendly relations with law-abiding people are a stabilizing influence on people. I well know this from my own experience and observations as a prisoner; and there is absolutely no excuse, apart from primal vindictiveness, to apply the restraints on prison visitors proposed by the roadmap.
Appeals court upholds Conrad Black’s conviction on fraud, obstruction charges
Guilty verdicts on two other fraud counts are vacated
(Chicago Tribune) Conrad Black, the wealthy Canadian native who was chairman of a Chicago-based newspaper empire, may be headed back to prison after two of his crimes were upheld on appeal. (Globe & Mail) … The court’s decision is a setback for Lord Black, who had been enjoying a string of legal victories in recent months in his quest to have all the convictions reversed.
Conrad Black: My prison education
In my 28 months as a guest of the U.S. government, I often wondered how my time in that role would end. I never expected that I would have to serve the whole term, though I was, and am, psychologically prepared to do so, now that I have learned more of the fallibility of American justice, which does convict many people, who, like me, would never dream of committing a crime in a thousand years.
… The Mafiosi, the Colombian drug dealers, (including a senator with whom I had a special greeting as a fellow member of a parliamentary upper house), the American drug dealers, high and low, black, white, and Hispanic; the alleged swindlers, hackers, pornographers, credit card fraudsters, bank robbers, and even an accomplished airplane thief; the rehabilitated and unregenerate, the innocent and the guilty, and in almost all cases the grossly over-sentenced, streamed in steadily for hours, to make their farewells.
Most goodbyes were brief and jovial, some were emotional, and a few were quite heart-rending. Many of the 150 students that my very able fellow tutors and I had helped to graduate from high school, came by, some of them now enrolled in university by cyber-correspondence.
Jonathan Kay: Conrad Black a changed man
… he can’t hide the truth from his valet or his editor. One of the few skills we editors have is to sniff out the scent of insincerity, whose most obvious symptom is feeble writing.
It is ironic that the most intellectually vivid period of Conrad Black’s life (as I perceive it) should unfold when he was behind bars. And greater things may come out of it still. Already, he has overturned a large chunk of U.S. prosecutorial overreaching with his Supreme Court victory. He could do even more good if he chose to dedicate himself to this subject in his next book. Reform of America’s prison-industrial complex could have no more improbable champion, nor one more intellectually courageous.
David Frum: Lord Conrad Black … of Canada
Whatever else you say about Conrad Black, he is truly an eminent Canadian, who has contributed enormously to the country’s public life. It is time for him to be allowed home. This even-handed column has stirred up a hornets’ nest of comments.
Rex Murphy: A Dickensian hero in the age of Enron
The phrase is a battered cliche I know, but it’s the only one that fits: Black is larger than life. He has the outsize vitality of some of the great characters of 19th-century fiction — you will see his true predecessors in the pages of Trollope or Dickens, in those characters who overflow the stories that seek to contain them. Most corporate chieftains today have terrycloth personalities, as fluffy and monotone as their dreadfully feeble mission statements. The pursuit of great wealth or station seems to accompany a siphoning off, a ratcheting down, of real personality.
They shrink to rise. Who was duller than Ken Lay? Black, whether from compulsion or choice, saw corporate advance as an exercise in, as a vehicle for, expanding his personality.
‘A more upbeat Lord Black than we’ve seen in this courtroom before’
Conrad Black will have to appear in court again in two weeks, but that didn’t seem to dampen his mood
Conrad Black cannot return to Canada yet, federal judge Amy St Eve ruled in Chicago Friday.
Judge St Eve said she still wants more information from Lord Black’s lawyers before making a ruling. She gave him two more weeks to pull it together. (CBC) Conrad Black must remain in U.S. Even if Black is ultimately allowed to leave the United States, it’s unclear whether he would be allowed to return to Canada, where he owns a home in Toronto’s tony Bridle Path neighbourhood.
His fraud convictions are up in the air, but his conviction on obstruction of justice remains in place. He is also not a Canadian citizen anymore, having famously renounced it to accept a British peerage, so he would need special permission — either an extradition agreement or ministerial order — to return to Canada.
Jason Kenney, Canada’s minister of citizenship and immigration, said the department will not comment on the case, as it would break Black’s privacy rights.
National Post Editorial board: Conrad Black, unlikely crusader for justice
Who would have thought that a Canadian media magnate would become the protagonist in a successful counterattack against over-aggressive anti-corporate prosecutors?
Conrad Black long has been a champion of freedom, including the ideals of free speech, a free press and the free market. Not surprisingly, he also became a great admirer of the “land of the free,” namely, the United States of America. Mr. Black often denounced the provincialism of his native Canada, especially when compared with the sky’s-the-limit attitude of our southern neighbour.
… While many others would do their best to put such an ordeal behind them, we expect that Mr. Black will do just the opposite with his journalism and activism — so that others aren’t ensnared by a legal system gamed to the prosecutors’ advantage.
Beryl Wajsman: Conrad Black et le jeu politique de la justice
Enfin un peu de justice qui, espérons-le, devra apporter une fin à la persécution pernicieuse et à l’emprisonnement injuste de Conrad Black. La Cour suprême des États-Unis a restreint la portée d’une loi fédérale sur la fraude, qui est souvent utilisée dans les dossiers de crimes économiques, et, de ce fait, les trois condamnations pour fraude prononcées contre Conrad Black. La cour, dans une décision unanime, a constaté que la loi était confinée aux arrangements frauduleux impliquant des pots-de-vin. Il n’y en avait pas dans l’affaire Black. En effet, Black fut innocenté de neuf chefs d’accusations de fraude. C’était l’une des seules fois dans l’histoire américaine où quelqu’un a été trouvé coupable de fraude postale (essentiellement envoyer du matériel concernant une fraude alléguée par la poste) alors qu’innocenté des chefs d’accusations principale de fraude.
Black freed from Florida prison after $2M bail paid
Former media baron Conrad Black has been released from a Florida prison after a judge’s ruling on the terms of his bail.
“Conrad Black is no longer in our custody,” said Gary Miller, a spokesperson for the Coleman Correctional Facility. “He was discharged this afternoon.”
Conrad Black at Fla. mansion
Former media baron’s associate puts up $2M US unsecured bond
Conrad Black has been released from a federal prison in Florida and returned to the oceanfront mansion in Palm Beach he rents.
How much money does Conrad Black have left?
Lord Black’s lawyer, Miguel Estrada, argued on wednesday that his client’s circumstances were “different from when your honour last considered bail.”
The fact that a friend, Roger Hertog, put up the money further suggests that Lord Black might not have had it himself, and must live in circumstances much reduced from his jet-setting days.
According to Peter White, a longtime Black friend and a former Hollinger executive who remains in touch with him by email, “He’s still a wealthy man but his wealth will be affected by the outcome of outstanding lawsuits against him.”
Terence Corcoran: I hope Black’s enemies like crow
Corcoran gleefully anticipates a clash of titanic egos (Black v. Kissinger is our favorite) – and lawsuits – with the publication of Conrad Black’s forthcoming book The Fight of My Life “[which] will pick up Lord Black’s life story in 1994, focusing on his battles over the last five years in the United States and against his mistreatment by any number of people and institutions.”
Adam Daifallah: Conrad Black never gave up hope
In the lead-up to Conrad Black’s 2007 criminal trial, a Toronto designer created some t-shirts with the slogan “Conrad will win” printed under a cartoon of Black’s face. As a backer of Black’s from the beginning, I arranged to get myself one. The shirt symbolized what Conrad’s friends and supporters thought was destiny at the time — that, given the paucity of evidence against him and that we knew he did nothing illegal, he would be cleared of all charges.
There are still more battles to come in this war, and who knows what they have in store — but while we wait, I think it’s safe to get out my t-shirt.
Conrad Black to be granted bail pending appeal
(BBC) A US appeals court will grant bail to the media tycoon Conrad Black pending an appeal against his fraud conviction. Toronto Star: Conrad Black granted bail (CTV) A CTV correspondent says Black’s release is significant because of the re-examination of the honest services charge and no discussion on the obstruction of justice charge, while also saying Black’s attorney will be fighting for the terms of bail being set. (FT) Lord Black set to be freed on bail Lord Black, the Canadian-born peer and former publishing magnate who was convicted of fraud, could be released from a Florida prison on bail within days pending an appeal
IRS writes up $70-million tax bill for Conrad Black
U.S. taxman alleges that he failed to pay taxes on $116-million in income; Lord Black challenges assessment
Conrad Black has been hit with a $70-million (U.S.) tax bill from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, which claims he failed to pay taxes on more than $116-million in income.
In a series of notices filed in the United States Tax Court, the IRS alleges that Lord Black did not pay taxes on a variety of payments he received between 1998 and 2003 while running Chicago-based Hollinger International Inc.
Conrad Black’s final battle
(Maclean’s) A stunning U.S. Supreme Court ruling has cast his conviction into doubt. Can Black’s lawyers turn it into a vindication that would see him walk free?
An ardent student of history, Conrad Black knows about the long view. His own protracted battle with the U.S. government for his freedom and his reputation is turning into the kind of epic saga that could fill one of his loquacious tomes. The former newspaper magnate has drawn comparisons to Napoleon at Elba—in exile, unrepentant, his empire in tatters. And now, like his hero, he is plotting a return.
Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Former Enron CEO Jeff Skilling
The Supreme Court on Thursday sharply curtailed prosecutors’ use of an anti-fraud law that was central in convicting politicians and corporate executives in many of the nation’s most prominent corruption cases. The ex-CEO of disgraced energy giant Enron and a Canadian media mogul, both in prison, are among the figures who could benefit from the ruling.
The justices voted 6-3 to keep the law in force, even as they joined unanimously in weakening it, and left it to a lower court to decide whether Jeffrey Skilling, the former Enron boss, and Conrad Black, the former newspaper owner, should have their convictions stemming from “honest services” fraud overturned. (The Independent) Conrad Black given hope of early release
25 March 2010
Conrad Black loses Florida mansion: report
Conrad Black no longer owns title to the Florida mansion he bought in 1997, the Globe and Mail reported Thursday.
The paper says the former newspaper magnate and his wife transferred the deed of the 21,000-square-foot oceanfront home in February to a Connecticut-based investment firm — Blackfield Holdings LLC — to settle an $11.6-million mortgage.
26 February 2009
The daily life of Conrad
On Tuesday, Conrad Black will have served one year of his six-year sentence for fraud. In this e-mail interview with the Post’s Theresa Tedesco, he describes his new life in a Florida prison.
23 August 2008
Conrad Black says prison strip search story ‘fiction’
(CBC News) Conrad Black has used his latest newspaper article written in prison to refute a media report that said he had to endure a “full-body cavity search” in front of other inmates. In Saturday’s National Post newspaper, the Canadian-born former media mogul writes that “the source and description” of the recent article in the New York Post are “fiction.”
On strip searches and fellow inmates (the link to the NP story is no longer available)
By Conrad Black
The New York Post published a story this week, based on accounts from inmates, that purports to describe Conrad Black’s life at the Florida prison where he is incarcerated. In this exclusive article for the National Post, Lord Black responds and, for the first time, writes in detail about his experience behind bars so far.
The article was normally accurate for the New York Post. There have been plenty of strip searches, but not in the presence of bemused fellow residents. The source and description are fiction. The searches are absurd but in no way embarrassing. Indeed, parts of my torso have rarely been the subject of such flattering curiosity. My wife, daughter, and sons have had very convivial contacts with other visitors and residents and personnel and the frequency of visits to me by them and many others has not declined. My appeal and other legal initiatives to overturn the remaining nonsensical convictions, or at least mitigate the sentence, are continuing.
Black’s latest appeal rejected
National Post, with files from Bloomberg News
Former media magnate Conrad Black will continue serving his 6½-year sentence for fraud and obstructing justice after a U.S. appeals court rejected his latest bid for a review of his case.
In a ruling released Thursday, a three-judge panel in Chicago declined to reconsider its June 25 decision upholding the former Hollinger International Inc. chairman’s conviction for stealing $6.1-million from the newspaper publishing company. “All of the judges on the original panel have voted to deny the petition,” the court said in an Aug. 13 ruling.
None of the court’s 11 active judges sought a full-panel rehearing, according to the ruling, which would appear to all but dash Lord Black’s hopes of a reversal of his conviction.
Black loses appeal of obstruction and fraud charges
The U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled against former newspaper magnate Conrad Black in his appeal of his fraud and obstruction of justice convictions.
“I think it’s good news for the shareholders of Hollinger International and the investing public,” Eric Sussman, who led the four-person team that prosecuted Black, told CTV Newsnet on Wednesday.
The ruling shows “these laws are being taken seriously and that people who defraud the shareholders and take money from the company will be prosecuted. I think that’s the best news,” he said.
U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald also released a statement saying he was pleased by the court’s decision.
Conrad Black an inmate turned professor
The weekly seminars on American history at the Coleman Federal Correctional Complex have become so popular, the penitentiary has moved the classes to a larger venue.
It might have something to do with the teacher: Conrad Black.
Sources said the former press baron, who began serving a 6½ prison sentence on March 3 at the prison located 85 Kilometres northwest of Orlando, Fla., is said to be teaching to a “full house,” which includes prison staff and custodians.
Lord Black, who once presided over the world’s third-largest newspaper empire, has been tasked to conduct the seminars as part of his job in the library at the low-security federal penitentiary.
Black shouldn’t bank on a pardon
But readers can count on a long book
GEORGE TOMBS, Freelance
Is Conrad Black getting used to the “civilized” surroundings of FCI Coleman Low, the federal prison in Florida where he is serving a 61/2-year sentence for criminal fraud and obstruction of justice? Does he stand a chance of winning on appeal? And will President George W. Bush grant him a formal pardon sometime between the November election and inauguration of the next president in January?
Black is trying to put a brave face on things, giving the impression through supportive or co-opted journalists that his “confinement” will be short-lived and endurable. But Black will likely lose on appeal. And he stands next to no chance of a presidential pardon. He will likely serve 85 per cent of his sentence, which will leave him a lot of time to ponder his personal and professional nightmare and what could have been done to avoid it.
… Finally, there is the Globe and Mail theory that Black could be granted a presidential pardon. However, in the United States Black is a non-resident alien. Nobody in the White House or Justice Department owes him anything.
Quite the contrary. The fraud and obstruction of justice conviction came with a hefty price tag – about $500 million in law enforcement time, investigations, legal fees, fines and insurance payouts, not to mention more than $1.5-billion in shareholder losses.
And above all, how can a pardon be granted to someone who acknowledges no responsibility for his conviction? In a landmark 1915 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court held that accepting a pardon is an admission of guilt.
3 March 2008
Conrad Black starts sentence at Florida prison
(CTV) Conrad Black travelled from his lavish Palm Beach mansion Monday to a Florida prison, where he will serve out his six-and-a-half year fraud sentence with white-collar criminals and drug dealers.
Black made the four-hour trip with his wife Barbara Amiel, sitting in the back of a grey SUV with tinted windows while an unidentified driver took the wheel.
The disgraced media tycoon will now be known as inmate 18330-424 at the Coleman Federal Correction Complex near Orlando. The prison has four facilities, ranging from the low-security detention centre where Black will be housed to a high-security penitentiary.
On Monday, Black was fingerprinted, photographed and strip-searched before being introduced to his cell, which he will share with a roommate.