Washington: US President Donald Trump is known for his strict stand when it comes to law and order, however, he pardoned former media tycoon Conrad Black on Wednesday, formally forgiving the Hollinger International Inc. founder of a conviction for mail fraud and obstruction of justice.
74-year-old, Conrad Black, who served three and a half years in prison after a federal jury found that he illegally diverted money that belonged to stockholders to himself, founded a company that at one time owned some of the world’s most best-known newspapers, including the Chicago Sun-Times, The Daily Telegraph and the Jerusalem Post.
Last year he published a book called “Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other.”
As per Black Trump personally called him and gave him the good news. “When my assistant said there was a call from the White House, I picked up, said ‘Hello’ and started to ask if this was a prank, (suspecting my friends in the British tabloid media).”
He said that Trump got on the line saying, “Is that the great Lord Black?” Black became a member of the British House of Lords in 2001.
Prosecutors said Black and other executives re-characterized bonus payments stemming the sale of community newspapers without the approval of the company’s board in order to avoid Canadian taxes. The government argued that in doing so, the individuals breached the duty of “honest services” owed to the company and its shareholders.
But two of his three scam convictions were nullified after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the “honest services” law was unconstitutionally vague. Black has lived in his native Canada since being deported from the U.S. following his May 2012 release from a Florida prison.
Black, who has also written a biography of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, had praised Trump in recent years. In an interview last year with Bloomberg Television, he said Trump would be remembered historically as a “good president” and occasionally acted outrageously so adversaries would underestimate him.