Conrad Black

 

 

 

Conrad Moffat Black

U.S. Corrections Prisoner  18330-424

 

 

 

Lord Black, former head of Hollinger Inc., lost an intense 2001 personal lawsuit against the then Liberal Prime Minister of Canada, Jean Chretien.

 

Chretien enforced the Nickle Resolution of 1919 that precluded Canadian citizens from being granted titular honors by foreign governments.  Ironically, the Nickle Resolution was buttressed in 1988 by then Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, thereby inadvertently thwarting Black, a personal friend and loyal Conservative supporter.

 

In a fit of pique, Conrad Black renounced his Canadian citizenship in exchange for British, beguiled by ascendancy to peerage in the British House of Lords.

 

While slamming the door on Canada, Mr. Black hurled invective at Chretien and the country of his birth, declaring he was pleased to be leaving “a third world dump run by raving socialists”, and terming the country “an oppressive little world”.  He moved to London and maintained opulent residences in North America.

 

Once the world’s third largest newspaper magnate, Mr. Black’s fortunes reversed in 2005 when he was prosecuted in the U.S., originally facing 17 charges of racketeering, obstruction of justice, money laundering and fraud of $60 million. After exhausting the American appellate processes, he was ultimately imprisoned for 37 months paying restitution of $32 million, and a $125,000 fine.

 

In 2007 the British House of Lords “denied the Whip” denoting Lord Black’s permanent expulsion from the Conservative benches.  The day of his prison release in May 2012, he was deported from the U.S. to Canada and resides there on a one-year temporary visitor’s permit.  This is contentious because of his criminal record, and now, hypocritically, he wants to apply for Canadian citizenship.

 

Over his lifetime Conrad Black established a history of cutting corners: expulsion from prestigious Upper Canada College in 1959 for selling stolen exam papers; then dismissal from tony Trinity College School for insubordinate behavior; later, he failed first year law at Osgoode Hall in Toronto and moved to Quebec, where he attended Laval University.

 

In 1984 Mr. Black, as head of Argus Corporation, withdrew $56 million in surplus Dominion Stores employees’ pension funds without consulting plan members. The Supreme Court of Ontario ruled against him and ordered the money returned.   During his takeover of Argus there were allegations that he manipulated the elderly widows of the previous directors.

 

Lord Black’s latest sortie into Canadian courts is an effort to salvage his Order of Canada, awarded in 1990, now under review by the 11-member Advisory Council.  The Order has been withdrawn from four recipients, three for committing fraud and one for inciting racial hatred.  So far, Mr. Black’s request for an unprecedented personal hearing “in order to properly defend my honor and integrity” was denied.  He has filed an appeal.





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