Conrad Black, the former Hollinger International chairman and CEO who was found guilty of mail fraud and obstruction of justice in 2007, is headed back to jail.
U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve ruled Friday that Black must spend three and a half years in prison, a reduction from the six and a half years that she had originally given Black in 2007. Black served 29 months of that sentence before being released on bail pending appeal in 2010, and the judge said that she would take that time out of his new sentence. Her decision to reduce Black’s jail time, she said, was influenced by his age—he's 66—and health, as well as letters she had received from Black’s fellow inmates praising his conduct and positive impact on their lives.
As the sentence was announced, Black’s wife, Barbara Amiel Black, fainted in the courtroom. Asked about the judge’s decision, Black said that he was “not surprised.”
Black was originally convicted of siphoning millions of dollars from Hollinger International, which at one time owned the Chicago Sun-Times and The Daily Telegraph. After the U.S. Supreme Court changed a federal law that let prosecutors bring cases against executives who didn’t provide their companies “honest services,” Black was granted bail. Last October, a Chicago appeals court dismissed two of the fraud counts against Black, but upheld another count of fraud and one count of obstruction of justice.