Timeline: Ups and downs of former media baron Conrad Black

CHICAGO (BestGrowthStock) – The U.S. judge who sentenced Conrad Black to 6-1/2 years in prison in 2007 freed the former media mogul on $2 million bond on Wednesday. Black, now in a Florida prison, must appear in a Chicago court before being released.

Here is a timeline on Conrad Black’s life and legal saga:

August 25, 1944 – Conrad Moffat Black is born in Montreal to a wealthy brewing family. At age 14, he is expelled from a prestigious Toronto school for stealing and selling exams. He later earns a law degree and a master’s in history.

1967 – Black buys a half interest in two Quebec weeklies for C$500. In 1969, he and former partner David Radler buy the Sherbrooke Record, his first daily newspaper, in Quebec.

1985 – Black buys stake in London’s Daily Telegraph. In 1989, he buys controlling interest in Jerusalem Post and in 1998 he publishes the National Post.

1998 – Black and Radler begin selling off Hollinger International Inc media properties to pay off bank debt.

1999 – Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien blocks Black from joining Britain’s House of Lords.

June 2001 – Black renounces his Canadian citizenship so he can accept a lifetime seat in Britain’s House of Lords as Lord Black of Crossharbour, named for the London neighborhood near the Daily Telegraph building, an honor that traditionally goes to the paper’s owner. Last year, Black said he wanted to become a Canadian again.

November 17, 2003 – Internal investigation by Hollinger International finds unauthorized payments to executives, and Black resigns as chief executive, then is ousted as chairman.

June 2004 – Black loses court battle to Hollinger International over sale of the Telegraph Group to British billionaire brothers David and Frederick Barclay.

August 2004 – Hollinger International special committee reports that Black oversaw a “corporate kleptocracy” that looted the publisher of hundreds of millions of dollars. Company’s suit against Black and others seeks $542 million.

April 2005 – Black and Radler resign from holding company Ravelston Corp Ltd, which wins bankruptcy protection in Canada. Two weeks before Black’s trial Ravelston, through receiver, pleads guilty and agrees to pay $7 million fine.

August 18, 2005 – Fraud charges announced against Black, Radler, corporate attorney Mark Kipnis and Ravelston. Racketeering, money laundering, and obstruction of justice charges added later. Black and Kipnis plead not guilty.

September 20, 2005 – Radler pleads guilty in deal with prosecutors and agrees to testify against Black in exchange for a 29-month prison sentence, to be served near his home in Vancouver, British Columbia.

July 13, 2007 – Federal court jury in Chicago finds Black guilty on multiple criminal charges, which included fraud and obstruction of justice.

December 10, 2007 – A U.S. judge sentences Black to 6-1/2 years in prison for obstructing justice and defrauding shareholders of Hollinger International Inc, and orders him to report to prison in 12 weeks.

March 2008 – Black begins serving his sentence at the federal prison in Coleman, Florida.

June 2008 – A U.S. appeals court upholds the conviction of Black and three ex-colleagues.

June 24, 2010 – The U.S. Supreme Court issues a ruling setting aside the 2007 conviction of Black for defrauding shareholders and obstruction of justice.

July 19, 2010 – A U.S. appeals court panel orders the lower court judge, Amy St. Eve, to release Black from a Florida prison pending his appeal of his 2007 conviction.

July 21, 2010 – Black is freed on $2 million bond, pending the outcome of his appeal of the fraud counts. The judge ordered him to appear in her Chicago courtroom before his release, and then he must remain in the United States during the appeal process.

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Timeline: Ups and downs of former media baron Conrad Black