CHICAGO, Sept. 29 (UPI) -- Lawyers for Chicago media mogul Conrad Black told an appeals court the fraud conviction of the onetime newspaper baron should be overturned.
Black was convicted in 2007 of defrauding publisher Hollinger International, former owner of the Chicago Sun-Times, of millions of dollars while engineering the sale of the newspaper's assets, and of attempting to disguise some of the money as "non-compete" payments, the Sun-Times reported Wednesday.
Black was also convicted of obstruction of justice for carting documents sought by the Securities and Exchange Commission out of an office, prosecutors said.
Black had served two years of a 6 1/2-year sentence when he was released on bond in July by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that weakened the "honest services" law that was at the heart of the prosecution's case against him.
Attorney Miguel Estrada argued the conviction should be thrown out because prosecutors used the honest services theory in presenting its case and the jury convicted him based on that now-weakened law.
But Assistant U.S. Attorney Edmond Chang responded that prosecutors argued two theories of law, including honest services, and in either case the same underlying facts pointed to theft, something that remains illegal, Chang said.