Conrad Black sentenced to more prison time
- Settlement reached in libel suits
- Black's health issues cited
- Prosecutor expects 18 to 24 more months in prison
Former media baron Conrad Black was resentenced on Friday to 42 months in prison on fraud and obstruction of justice charges, which means he could serve up to 13 more months in prison.
In Federal Court in Chicago, Judge Amy St. Eve also ordered him to pay a $125,000 fine.
Black had already served 29 months in the Coleman federal prison in Florida before the U.S. Supreme Court struck down some of his initial convictions, citing a misuse of the "honest services" provision of the U.S. fraud statute. His original sentence was for 78 months in prison after multiple convictions on fraud and obstruction of justice charges.
The court agreed to accept the time he has already served, 29 months, as part of his new sentence of 42 months.
"This court ruling sent a very strong message to corporate executives that it will not be tolerated when executives steal," prosecutor Julie Ruder Porter told reporters at the courthouse.
"The defendant has never accepted responsibility for his own conduct," Porter said.
Porter said prosecutors were "satisfied" with the court's decision, but by any measure, the original case against Black has disintegrated. After initially being charged with 17 counts, and being accused of absconding with hundreds of millions of dollars, only two charges against him remain — a single count of fraud of $600,000 US, and a more serious obstruction of justice charge.
That stemmed from the security camera video of Black removing boxes from his Toronto office after he had been instructed not to.
It was on those two counts that Black was resentenced Friday.
The new sentence could be reduced for good behaviour. That means in Black's case he could spend as little as nine more months in prison, but no more than 13.
Black can put a recommendation in for where he would like to stay, but ultimately, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons will decide where he will serve out his sentence, and for how long.
Following his release, he must submit to two years probation. That would only apply if he remains in the United States, but Black has expressed his interest in returning to Canada and U.S. authorities would most likely deport him upon his release from prison as he is not a U.S. citizen.
If that were to happen, Porter said Black has the opportunity to seek permission to return to the U.S., but it's up to immigration and customs officials as to whether they would allow it.
When the ruling was read out, Black's wife, Barbara Amiel, collapsed. She had to be escorted from the courtroom by paramedics. She left the courthouse at her husband's side.
Black has two weeks to appeal the decision. His lawyer, Miguel Estrada, asked for six weeks before Black must report to prison.
When asked by CBC News what he planned to do next upon leaving the courthouse, Black said "just wait for it."
With files from The Associated Press