CHICAGO, (Reuters) – A U.S. judge yesterday released former media baron Conrad Black from prison on $2 million bond, while she decides whether to throw out his 2007 conviction for defrauding shareholders.
Adhering to rulings by higher courts, trial Judge Amy St. Eve of the U.S. District Court set Black, 65, free but restricted him to the continental United States for the time being.
Black left the Coleman Federal Prison in central Florida yesterday afternoon, according to prison officials.
He left without being spotted by waiting reporters but was seen hours later, in sweat pants and a white T-shirt, sitting cross-legged in the back of a Lincoln Navigator SUV as it arrived at his ocean-front mansion in Palm Beach, Florida.
The Canadian-born Black, a British peer who once led the world’s third-largest newspaper publisher, with titles including London’s Daily Telegraph, Canada’s National Post and the Chicago Sun-Times, entered a Florida prison in March 2008. A jury convicted him of three counts of fraud and one count of obstruction of justice in a scheme that swindled now defunct media holding company Hollinger Inter-national Inc out of $6.1 million. He was acquitted of nine other counts, including racketeering.