Media World: Supreme Court throws Conrad Black a lifeline

The U.S. Supreme Court today threw a lifeline to imprisoned media baron Conrad Black.

Black, currently serving a 6 1/2 year sentence for mail fraud and obstruction of justice, was convicted in 2007 of stealing $6.1 million from his newspaper publishing empire which included the Jerusalem Post, London's Daily Telegraph, and the Chicago Sun-Times. The company, now called Sun Times Media Group Inc. (SUTMQ), filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March in part because the $608 million it owes in back taxes because of the business practices of Black.

"The decision to hear the case may delay efforts by the company . . . to recoup as much as $100 million it spent to defend its former executives. Supreme Court review may also affect the company's civil suit against Black," according to Bloomberg News.

In an industry known for executives with gargantuan egos, Black stood out. Among the facts that came out at his trial was that Black was that the tycoon took the corporate jet to the Pacific island of Bora Bora. He referred to shareholders of his media company as idiots and was known to blow millions on shopping trips.

Black and his wife, Barbara Amiel, did not let going to jail depress their taste for the finer things in life. According to the New York Post, the Blacks and their guests dined on expensive gourmet food and sipped on fine wine and champagnes before Conrad had to report to the pokey. Amiel is reportedly writing a book about their experiences.

Looks like the last chapter has yet to be written.


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