MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Conrad Black, a disgraced former media mogul, walked out of federal prison in Miami early Friday morning after serving roughly three years for defrauding investors.
Black once owned multiple media outlets including the Chicago Sun-Times, the Daily Telegraph of London, the Jerusalem Post and a host of small papers across the U.S. & Canada.
He was originally sentenced to six years in prison after he was convicted in 2007 on fraud based on “honest services” laws. However, when the U.S. Supreme Court severely cut apart those laws, Black won sentence reductions after two of his three convictions were tossed out of court.
Black is a former member of the British House of Lords and was known for lavish spending. He threw a $62,000 birthday party for his wife, owned a swanky apartment on Park Avenue in New York, and took trips to the island of Bora Bora.
The core of the charges against him was that he and other executives of his empire started selling off most of their small community papers starting in 1998. The companies that bought the papers paid Black and other executives millions of dollars in return for a promise to not return to the small town and compete with the new owners.
Prosecutors said the executives pocketed the money in a quid pro quo scheme and that the money belonged to the shareholders. But the U.S. Supreme Court’s undercutting of the law allowed Black to escape most of the charges without having to serve any prison time for them.
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