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Tilted: The Trials of Conrad Black
By Steven Skurka
The Conrad Black trial in Chicago captivated Canadians in a manner similar to the O.J. Simpson trial in the United States. Black was a media titan who had helped to build the third largest media company in the world. Prosecutors brought mail fraud and wire fraud charges in relation to an elaborate scheme of funneling $60 million from shareholders. This was allegedly achieved in the guise of fictitious noncompete payments from the sale of a pool of American community newspapers to Conrad Black, his associates, and to affiliate companies under Black’s co-control. Black also faced charges of racketeering, obstruction of justice, money laundering and tax fraud.
Conrad Black secured his place in American legal lore with the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in his case recasting the vague honest services fraud statute that had existed for over two decades. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ultimately reviewed his case, and it confirmed a single conviction f
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