Business, Economics and Jobs

Ex-media mogul Conrad Black to be freed Friday


Former press magnate Conrad Black and wife Barbara Amiel leave federal court in Chicago where he was re-sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison on June 24, 2011.


Brian Kersey

Disgraced media mogul Conrad Black, who once lorded over the world’s third-largest newspaper empire, could be released from prison as early as Friday, Agence France-Presse reported.

US courts convicted Black, 67, of fraud and obstruction of justice in 2003.

“Mr. Black is scheduled to be released on May 5, but since its Saturday, typically on cases like this he will probably be released the day before, on Friday,” Federal Bureau of Prisons spokesman Chris Burke told AFP.

Upon his release from Miami’s Federal Correction Institution, Black will have served just more than half of a 13-month sentence.

Where he goes from there is still unknown, CBC News said.

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Black renounced his Canadian citizenship in 2001 to become a member of the British House of Lords.

Now, because he has a criminal record, Canadian authorities might not let him across the border.

Black built his Hollinger brand from Toronto, and his wife, journalist Barbara Amiel, still lives there.

In 2003, Hollinger shareholders accused him and associates in Chicago of running a $500-million “corporate kleptocracy.”

He served his sentence in Florida, where he owned a home.

Black told CBC he’s anxiously awaiting the conclusion of the ordeal.

“I can see quite clearly, looming larger every day, the end of this horrible sequence of events,” he said during an interview with the network.

A Chicago court eventually convicted Black of awarding himself $6 million in tax-free bonuses without board approval, the Toronto Star said.

A judge sentenced him to 6 1/2 years in prison in 2007; however, through various appeals, he’s had charges overturned and was freed briefly on $2 million bail as the courts considered his case.

His fraud case was eventually whittled down to $600,000, of which he received less than half.

He was re-sentenced last June to 42 months, but is being released early thanks to time served and good behavior.

Hollinger once owned newspapers such as The Daily Telegraph, Chicago Sun-Times, National Post, Jerusalem Post and Sydney Morning Herald.

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