Friday, July 13, 2007

Media mogul guilty: Chicago jury

One-time media tycoon Conrad Black illegally kept money that should have gone to stockholders of Hollinger International, committed mail fraud, and obstructed justice, according to a federal jury, which announced its verdict on Friday the 13th.

Three other ex-Hollinger execs also were convicted. Black was acquitted on nine other charges.

Black faces up to 35 years in prison and a $1 million fine, according to an Associated Press report today in the Chicago Sun-Times – which Hollinger used to own.

“The conviction signaled an increasing trend of aggressive U.S. government pursuit of senior corporate executives, following the Enron, Tyco and WorldCom scandals, and to hold top executives personally accountable for their companies' actions,” wrote the AP’s Mike Robinson.

Elsewhere, the Wall Street Journal used a few grafs that didn’t appear in the Sun-=Times’ version of the wire-service report:

“Legal observers had speculated that some kind of verdict -- or a hung jury -- was imminent after jurors sent a note to U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve on Tuesday saying they had "discussed and deliberated on all the evidence and are still unable to reach an unanimous verdict on one or more counts."

"Please advise," it added. Judge St. Eve responded by urging jurors to continue working toward a unanimous decision.

The trial began March 20.

Read the Sun-Times’s AP story here --,black071307.article