He was intellectual but practical, spiritual but not sanctimonious or utopian, proud but never arrogant. He must have had faults, but I never detected any. He was a great man, yet the salt of the earth. In , Black was invested as a Knight of the Order of St. Gregory the Great , a Papal order of chivalry. Black has written that his faith helped him endure his imprisonment in the United States. Black became involved in a number of businesses, mainly publishing newspapers, and briefly in mining. Following the foundation as an investment vehicle of the Ravelston Corporation by the Black family in , Black, together with friends David Radler , and Peter G.
White, purchased and operated the Sherbrooke Record , the small English language daily in Sherbrooke , Quebec. In , the three formed Sterling Newspapers Limited, a holding company that would acquire several other small Canadian regional newspapers. Through his father's holdings in Ravelston, Black gained early association with two of Canada's most prominent businessmen: Bud McDougald and E. Taylor , president and founder of Argus, respectively. This arrangement resulted in accusations that Black had taken advantage of the widows of Ravelston Directors McDougald and Eric Phillips.
Though these accusations were never proven, interviews with the widows in their retirement homes in Florida were aired 21 September in the episode of the CBC 's The Canadian Establishment entitled "Ten Toronto Street. This episode covered the period during which Conrad black became chairman of Argus Corporation following the death of John A. Patrick Watson , the host and narrator of series interviewed the two widows in their Florida retirement homes.
Some of the Argus assets were already troubled, and others did not fit Black's long-term vision. Black resigned as Chairman of Massey Ferguson company in , after which Argus donated its shares to the employees pension funds both salaried and union. A filing with the U. Securities and Exchange Commission stated that Norcen took "an investment position" in Hanna.
The filing did not disclose that Norcen's board planned to seek majority control. Black subsequently was charged by the SEC with filing misleading public statements.
These charges were later withdrawn. The firm said it considered the surplus the rightful property of the employer Dominion Stores Ltd. The Dominion Union complained, a public outcry ensued, and the case went to court. The Supreme Court of Ontario ruled against the company, and ordered the company to return the money to the pension fund, claiming that though the most recent language in the plan suggested the employer had ownership of the surplus, the original intention was to keep the surplus in the plan to increase members' benefits.
Over time, Black focused formerly diverse activities of his companies on newspaper publishing. Argus Corporation, once Canada's most important conglomerate, divested itself of interests in manufacturing, mining, retailing, banking, and broadcasting. Canadian writer John Ralston Saul argued in , "Lord Black was never a real 'capitalist' because he never created wealth, only dismantled wealth.
His career has been largely about stripping corporations. Destroying them. Five years later, he bought The Jerusalem Post , and by , his companies ran over newspaper titles in North America, the majority of them small community papers.
Lord Black of Crossharbour
For a time from this date he headed the third-largest newspaper group in the world. Hollinger International shares were listed on New York Stock Exchange in , at which time the company boosted its stake in Southam to a control position. The Hollinger group of companies was effectively dismantled as a result of criminal and civil lawsuits in relation to sales of papers and intellectual property to third parties, most alleging misrepresentation and some alleging false or deliberately misleading accounts having been presented.
The main criminal sanction on Black not overturned is specifically one of misleading investors. Born to a rich family, Black acquired the family home and 7 acres 2. When sold in , the U. According to biographer Tom Bower , "They flaunted their wealth. He was dropped from the list. Black is a former Steering Committee member of the Bilderberg Group. Black was convicted in U.
Conrad Black out on bail pending appeal
District Court in Chicago on 13 July and sentenced to serve 6. Appeals resulted in all the criminal fraud charges being dropped, resulting only in an obstruction of justice charge, and civil penalties from the SEC. In November , settlements were reached resolving all claims. Black was initially found guilty of diverting funds for personal benefit from money due to Hollinger International, and of other irregularities.follow link
The alleged embezzlement occurred when the company sold certain publishing assets. In , in an arrangement that came to be known as the "Lerner Exchange," Black acquired Chicago's Lerner Newspapers and sold it to Hollinger. The Supreme Court of the United States heard an appeal of his case on 8 December  and rendered a decision in June Black's application for bail was rejected by both the Supreme Court and the U.
District Court judge who sentenced him. On 24 June , the US Supreme Court ruled 9—0 that the definition of Honest services fraud used in the trial judge's charge to the jury in Black's case was too broad in June , "unconstitutionally vague", ruling the law could apply only to cases where bribes and kickbacks had changed hands and ordered the US 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago to review three fraud convictions against Black in light of the Supreme Court's new definition.
As ordered the Court reviewed Black's case and determined whether his fraud convictions stood or if there should be a new trial. Following his release, Black wrote a column for Canada's National Post on his time in prison. Black described America's inmates as an "ostracized, voiceless legion of the walking dead. It is possible that the voluminous amounts of information that would have been required for complete disclosure could not be compiled in time or that his wealth would be unlikely to persuade the court to extend his bail conditions.
He was under no compulsion to make this disclosure as he had initiated the appeal for a bail variation of his own volition.
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His next court appearance, where he might reapply for permission to return to Canada was set for 20 September This left Black convicted of one count of mail fraud and one count of obstruction of justice. The court also ruled that he must be resentenced. The three-person panel did not provide reasons. On 31 May , the Supreme Court of the United States refused to grant Black leave to appeal to it his two remaining convictions without comment. The resentencing on the two remaining counts by the original trial judge occurred on 24 June The probation officer's report recommended a sentence of between 33 and 41 months.
On 30 June , Black published an article for the National Review Online that provided his scathing view of the legal case, detailing it as a miscarriage of justice and an "unaccountable and often lawless prosecution. Seth Lipsky , in an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal that ran on 28 June , called the verdict against Black "head-scratching," noting that Black was found not guilty of the most serious charges brought against him. Lipsky also raised the issue of why Black was denied a retrial by jury as to whether he had committed pecuniary fraud after the Supreme Court unanimously found that Judge St.
Robber Baron: Lord Black of Crossharbour
Eve's instructions to the jury were "incorrect," which led to two of the three fraud counts ultimately being vacated. In the end, the fraud conviction and the count of obstruction were allowed to stand. While he waived Canadian citizenship in in order to receive a British peerage, he has expressed desire to live in Canada after his prison term completed. Immigration officials and escorted to the Miami International Airport for deportation. He arrived at Toronto on the same afternoon and returned to his home for the first time in nearly five years.
On 5 June lawyers for Black moved that the last remaining counts of conviction be vacated due to prosecutorial misconduct and his claim that he had been denied the right to have the defense counsel of his choice. Black's motion was dismissed on 19 February along with his request for an evidentiary hearing. Black maintains his innocence, likening the United States justice system to North Korea. He has never acknowledged any crimes. The regulator is seeking to have them banned from trading in the province's capital markets or sitting on a public board of directors. The case alleges violations of the Securities Act Ontario.
The case had been postponed pending the exhaustion of Black's appeals of his U. The securities case alleges that Black and his two fellow directors created a scheme was to use the sale of several Hollinger newspapers in order to "divert certain proceeds from [Hollinger International] to themselves through contrived 'non-competition' payments".
Black applied to have the proceedings dismissed on the basis that he is already subject to a temporary ban on serving as a director or officer of a public company in Ontario. The OSC has dismissed Black's argument and will proceed with the case in On February 27, the OSC placed a permanent ban on Black being a director or officer of a publicly traded company in Ontario.
Black acquired an ownership stake in The Daily Telegraph newspaper in Black at the time held both Canadian and British citizenship. Black sat as a life peer on the Conservative benches until , when he was expelled from the party following his conviction in the United States. He is currently a non-affiliated peer.
Comparing himself to Nelson Mandela , Black said a criminal conviction does not prohibit him from sitting, since the House of Lords has no restriction on such a case.
A Vortex of Delusions – Evidentia Channel
In an interview with Peter Mansbridge in May , Black said he would consider applying for Canadian citizenship "within a year or two", when he hoped the matter would no longer be controversial and he could "make an application like any other person who has been a temporary resident. Black was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in In September , after Black returned to prison due to the failure of his appeal, Rideau Hall , the seat of the Chancellery of Honours, confirmed that the honour accorded to Black was under review by the order's Advisory Council, which has the power to recommend " the termination of a person's appointment to the Order of Canada if the person has been convicted of a criminal offence.
Black then took the matter to the Federal Court of Canada , which ruled that the council had no obligation to change its regular review process which allows for written submissions only simply to accommodate Black. The QWF brings together authors, poets, screenwriters, science writers and graduate students in creative writing. Many of the members have moved to Montreal from British Columbia, Illinois, Ireland and other places — all attracted by the unique character and creativity of Montreal.
One question came up over spinach fritters and by the way, they were delicious. What was the most challenging thing I ever had to write? I thought right away of Robber Baron , my unauthorized biography of newspaper magnate Conrad Black. Lord Black of Crossharbour had always seen himself as a master strategist. Black liked to equate himself with powerful men, from kings to popes and prime ministers.
Black spent most of his time huddling with his lawyers and scowling at the jury. He had decided not to testify.