President Donald Trump has issued a full pardon for Conrad Black, a former media mogul who was convicted on counts of wire fraud and obstruction of justice and who also wrote a biography that praised the president last year.
According to a lengthy post on Black’s website, Trump called Black and told him personally of the pardon. Evidently after checking with White House counsel, Trump told Black that he was granting the pardon to reverse an injust verdict.
The Washington Post reported that the White House said in a statement that Black was “entirely deserving” of the pardon.
Black was convicted in 2007 on three counts of fraud and one count of obstruction of justice, though two of the fraud charges were later dropped on appeal. He was initially sentenced to six and a half years in prison, but that was reduced to 42 months after the other fraud charges were overturned. He was also required to pay a fine of $125,000, as well as paying the SEC $4.1 million.
The charges stemmed from Black embezzling funds during the sale of some of his company Hollinger International’s publishing assets. Hollinger International was one of the biggest newspaper publishers in the world, and included such publications as the Chicago Sun-Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Jerusalem Post and the National Post (Canada).
Black, who was born Canadian — though he holds British citizenship and is a British peer — was deported to Canada after being released in 2012. He was barred from returning to the United States for 30 years.