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SCOTUS Keeps 7th Circuit Convictions For Conrad Black

By Tanya Roth, Esq. on June 02, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Last October, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit overturned two mail and wire fraud convictions against media mogul Conrad Black. These decisions came after the U.S. Supreme Court sent Black's four convictions back to the 7th Circuit, for a ruling on the "Honest Services" issue.

Black's second bid to the U.S. Supreme Court, however, was not as fruitful. This week, the United States Supreme Court rejected an appeal challenging Black's two remaining convictions on fraud and obstruction of justice, reports Canadian Business.

Montreal-born Conrad Black was once the chairman of Hollinger International, Inc., a Canadian media empire. In 2007, he was convicted on three counts of mail and wire fraud and one count of obstruction of justice and was sentenced later that year to 78 months in jail.

In 2008, Black began his road to appeal, first before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, where the court affirmed Black’s convictions on June 25, 2008. On December 8, 2009, Black first took his case to the Supreme Court, where the court heard the appeal on Black’s fraud conviction. The appeal before the Supreme Court dealt with the “Honest Services” statute, where “fraud needn’t necessarily involve the theft of money, but can be expanded to include situations where the accused has somehow deprived someone of an intangible right,” writes Canadian Business.

The case was sent back to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, where two of his convictions were let go. But two convictions remained.

Clearly, Black refused to take “no” for an answer — and with his money, why not exhaust your legal avenues? Black was so intent on overturning his conviction that in 2008, he actually tried to have President George W. Bush grant him a pardon.

Bush didn’t bite. And this time around, the Supreme Court didn’t bite, either.

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