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Ex-media mogul guilty of fraud
Lawyers say Black, also found guilty of obstruction of justice, will appeal ruling.
Last Modified: 13 Jul 2007 21:45 GMT

Black, left, faces decades in prison
and millions in fines [Reuters]

A US jury has found Conrad Black, a former newspaper magnate, guilty on three counts of criminal fraud and a single count of obstruction of justice.
 
Three others on trial with the 62-year-old member of Britain's House of Lords were also found guilty by a federal court in Chicago of multiple counts of fraud on Friday.
Black and his co-defendants had been accused by US prosecutors of pilfering $60m in payments that should have benefited his former newspaper company, Hollinger International Inc, and its shareholders.
The charges

Black faced 13 chrages, but was found guilty on only four:

Counts 1 & 6 - Mail fraud relating to $2.9m in noncompete agreements with American Publishing Corp, a subsidiary of Hollinger International

Count 7 - Mail fraud relating to "supplemental payments"

Count 13 - Obstruction of justice for having removed 13 boxes of documents from his Toronto offices despite a ban on taking away anything that could be federal grand jury evidence

Black, who maintains his innocence, could face decades in prison and millions in fines.
 
For the time being, the ex-media mogul was allowed to remain free on a $21m bail. A hearing on July 19 will decide whether that should be continued.
 
Black faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in jail on the obstruction of justice conviction, while the fraud convictions carry a maximum penalty of five years.
 
Sentencing was set for November 30, but Black's lawyers have said he will appeal.
 
The verdict on Friday from a federal court jury of nine men and three women, came after 11 days of deliberation and nearly 15 weeks of testimony.
 
'Corporate kleptocracy'

In a trial that featured about 50 witnesses, prosecutors tried to show Black and his associates were no better than thieves and had lied about what they did.

The defence said the men, who pleaded not guilty and did not take the stand in their own defence, were victims of over-zealous prosecutors.

An internal investigation at Hollinger International in 2004 concluded that Black, who was outsed from his postion there in 2003, had overseen a "corporate kleptocracy".

Source:
Agencies
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