Federal court rejects Conrad Black appeal of fraud, obstruction of justice convictions

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit Wednesday rejected [opinion, PDF] an appeal of Canadian-born financier and former media mogul Conrad Black [CBC profile; JURIST news archive]. Convicted [JURIST report] of fraud and obstruction of justice in 2007, Black was sentenced to 78 months in prison [JURIST report] and ordered to pay $125,000 and forfeit another $1 million. In February, the court upheld a district court ruling [JURIST reports] rejecting Black's bid to remain free on bail pending the appeal. The appeals court ruled in February that Black's co-defendants, John Boultbee and Peter Atkinson, could remain free on bail because they had not been convicted of a separate obstruction of justice charge. CBC News has more. The Canadian Press has additional coverage.

The US government originally accused [indictment, PDF] Black of diverting more than $80 million [JURIST report] from Hollinger International and its shareholders during the company's $2.1 billion sale of several hundred Canadian newspapers, but in July 2007 he was found not guilty on separate charges of racketeering, wire fraud, and tax evasion. In August 2007, Black and former Hollinger executives Boultbee, Atkinson and Mark Kipnis filed concurrent motions [JURIST report] requesting either new trials or acquittals after their July convictions. US District Judge Amy St. Eve largely rejected the motions [ruling, PDF; JURIST report], overturning one of Kipnis' mail fraud convictions while affirming all of the other convictions against the four.

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