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Fade to Black for Conrad

Monday, July 16, 2007

  • Conrad Black entering the Dirksen Federal Building in Chicago. Photo by John Gress

    Conrad Black entering the Dirksen Federal Building in Chicago. Photo by John Gress

On Friday, a federal jury returned guilty verdicts on three counts of mail fraud and one count of obstructing justice. These charges mean serious jail time for Lord Black if they are not overturned on appeal. Although four charges resulted in guilty verdicts another nine counts were returned not-guilty. These nine charges included several more mail and wire fraud charges, tax fraud and the most serious charge of racketeering.

Black was found guilty of arrainging "non-compete" payments to himself and several co-defendants. Non-compete payments are set up when a news paper is sold. The seller is paid an extra fee in exchange for not setting up a rival news paper. In the case of Lord Black these non-compete payments were made to Black directors so they would not compete with a paper of which Black was part owner. In all, it is said that Black received $60 million in ill-gotten non-compete payments.

Black has vowed that he will fight these convictions on appeal. With these four guilty verdicts the strength of civil suits against Black have become much stronger.

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