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Conrad Black Guilty of Mail Fraud!! Canadians Split on Decision, Sun Times Newsroom Celebration Subdued

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jul 13, 2007 6:38PM

2007_07_conrad_black.jpegLooks like Judge Amy St. Eve's advice worked. The jury on the Conrad Black trial found the former controlling shareholder of the Sun-Times guilty of three counts of mail fraud and one count of obstruction of justice this morning. Although Black was acquitted of the more serious racketeering charge, as well as charges of tax and wire fraud, this won't sit well for a man who once compared his sense of self-entitled largess to that of French nobility.

The mail fraud convictions could carry with them a maximum sentence of 35 years in prison. Two of the mail fraud counts stem from non-compete agreement with Black and co-defendants John Boultbee, Peter Y. Atkinson, and Mark Kipnis. The non-compete agreements came from sales of Hollinger International assets. Black and the others were paid the money in exchange for promises not to compete in the same markets where the papers circulated. Prosecutors argued that the payments should have instead gone to Hollinger shareholders.

The trial was notable here for Black's association as a former owner of the Sun-Times, where he had a reputation of throwing around pennies like sewer covers. However, in his native Canada, where Black gave up his citizenship in order to join Britain's House of Lords as Lord Black of Crossharbour, the trial often received lead story status, largely due to Black's mammoth personality and rank hubris. One can be certain that he'll start the appeals process right away and file motions to keep him from turning in his robe for an orange jumpsuit for as long as possible.