Conrad Black will not disclose assets
Return to Canada while on bail won't be possible
Conrad Black will not reveal additional details of his finances to a U.S. judge, effectively ending his attempts to return to Canada while on bail.
The 65-year-old Black has been out on bail since July 23. At the time, U.S. District Court Judge Amy St. Eve refused to allow him to leave the country until he had filed detailed documents that outlined his financial holdings worldwide.
In the eyes of the court, the fewer assets Black has, the less of a flight risk he's deemed to be.
She had given him a deadline of Aug. 16 to provide the financial data, but his lawyer confirmed Friday that Black will not do so — meaning he has agreed to adhere to his bail conditions and will remain in the United States.
Black will not be preparing a sworn affidavit that speaks to his complete financial picture for a variety of reasons.
His lawyers worry that such a document could be used against him to revoke his bail. That's what almost happened in 2006, when prosecutors claimed he lied about his finances in a similar affidavit after being granted bail.
Concerns about lawsuits
Black's bail in 2005 was $21 million US, which he paid himself. But much has changed in the global economy and the Montreal-born Black's own finances during the nearly three years he spent behind bars in Florida's Coleman Federal Correctional Complex.
Last month, his friend and business associate Roger Hertog put up the $2 million surety bond to secure Black's release from prison.
Most of his known assets are subject to a worldwide asset freeze as part of myriad civil suits against him. Revealing precise details of how much money he has and where would likely not be beneficial to his attempts to fend off that litigation. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service is also pursuing Black for $71 million US in unpaid taxes, a claim Black vehemently denies.
He is known to own his home in Toronto's tony Bridle Path neighbourhood. But he divested other pricey real estate holdings in London, New York and Palm Beach as his legal woes mounted.
In 2007, Black was convicted of absconding with $6 million while he was in charge of now defunct newspaper operator Hollinger International Inc. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court set aside his multiple fraud convictions based on an improper use of the "honest services" law in his case, but his conviction on a single obstruction of justice charge remains in place.
His next court appearance is set for Sept. 20.