Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Former Enron Prosecutor: Black Likely to Get Long Jail Sentence

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Former Enron Prosecutor: Black Likely to Get Long Jail Sentence

Article excerpt

Disgraced newspaper mogul Conrad Black should prepare himself for a long, hard time in the U.S. prison system, says the lawyer who prosecuted Enron's Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling.

Though Black was found guilty on just four of the 13 counts against him, he likely will receive a stiff prison terms when he stands before U.S. District Judge Amy J. St. Eve for sentencing Nov. 30, said former prosecutor John Hueston.

"The jury result reflects a classic compromise verdict, but like many such attempted verdicts, the sentencing outcome for the defendants will be almost as grim as a full slate of convictions," said Hueston, now a litigation partner with the Los Angeles law firm Irell & Manella, in a statement.

Prosecutors in court Friday said Black should serve from about 15 1/2 years to nearly 20 years in prison on the conviction of stealing some $60 million from the company formerly known as Hollinger International.

Two of Black's co-defendants -- John Boultbee, 64, of Vancouver and Peter Y. Atkinson, 60, of Toronto -- should be sentenced to terms of 7 to 10 years each. The third co-defendant is former Hollinger International General Counsel Mark Kipnis, a U.S. citizen.

Hueston closely followed the Black case, which he said resembled the Enron prosecution. The feds in Chicago, where Black's 15-week trial was held, made two big strategic mistakes that nearly derailed their case, he maintained.

First, they relied too much on the uncorroborated testimony F. …

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