Federal court rejects Conrad Black appeal

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The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit Wednesday rejected an appeal of Canadian-born financier and former media mogul Conrad Black. Convicted of fraud and obstruction of justice in 2007, Black was sentenced to 78 months in prison and ordered to pay $125,000 and forfeit another $1 million. In February, the court upheld a district court ruling rejecting Black's bid to remain free on bail pending the appeal. The appeals court ruled in February that Black's co-defendants, John Boultbee and Peter Atkinson, could remain free on bail because they had not been convicted of a separate obstruction of justice charge.

The US government originally accused Black of diverting more than $80 million from Hollinger International and its shareholders during the company's $2.1 billion sale of several hundred Canadian newspapers, but in July 2007 he was found not guilty on separate charges of racketeering, wire fraud, and tax evasion. In August 2007, Black and former Hollinger executives Boultbee, Atkinson and Mark Kipnis filed concurrent motions requesting either new trials or acquittals after their July convictions. US District Judge Amy St. Eve largely rejected the motions, overturning one of Kipnis' mail fraud convictions while affirming all of the other convictions against the four.

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