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Conrad Black: Prosecutors 'Overreaching' on Forfeiture Demands

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Conrad Black: Prosecutors 'Overreaching' on Forfeiture Demands

Article excerpt

Disgraced former newspaper baron Conrad Black and his three co-defendants say federal prosecutors are exaggerating the extent of the loot they are convicted of taking from the parent company of the Chicago Sun-Times.

In documents filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago Monday, lawyers for Black said prosecutor demands that the former mogul forfeit $17 million is way out of line considering the jury verdict in his fraud case.

Black's attorneys contend the counts on which he was convicted amount to a finding he and his co-defendants improperly received $2.9 million.

The issue is important because it could determine how much jail time Black receives at sentencing, and whether two of his co-defendants, Canadian natives like Black, will be able to serve their time in Canada.

"This case presents another example of the government pushing the forfeiture envelope," the lawyers wrote. "It seeks forfeiture based on portions of the alleged fraudulent scheme as to which the jury acquitted the defendants; it seeks to forfeit alleged proceeds more than once; and it inaccurately designates alleged proceeds."

Black was convicted in July of three counts of fraud relating to the pocketing of bogus non-compete fees in the sale of some U. …

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