Small victory for Conrad Black

Conrad BlackFormer newspaper magnate Conrad
Black has won a small victory in the U.S. Surpeme Court, who rule in favour of  limiting the use of a federal fraud law used by white-collar
crime prosecutors.

The New York Times reports:

“The Supreme Court has sided with Jeffrey Skilling, the former
Enron chief executive, in limiting the use of a federal fraud
law that has been a favorite of white-collar crime

“The court said Thursday that the “honest services” law could
not be used in convicting Mr. Skilling for his role in the
collapse of Enron. But Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said in
her majority opinion that the ruling does not necessarily
require Mr. Skilling’s conviction to be overturned.”

The NYT noted:

“The court in this ruling also sided with the former newspaper magnate Conrad Black, setting aside a federal appeals court decision that had upheld Mr. Black’s honest services fraud conviction. But as in Mr. Skilling’s case, the justices left the ultimate resolution of the case to the appeals court.”

The Globe and Mail

“The U.S. Supreme Court has handed Conrad Black  a slight opening to win reversal of his fraud conviction, but his chances remain slim.

“In a series of rulings this morning, the Court narrowed the interpretation of the “honest services” theory but did not throw out the theory altogether as some has suspected it would. Lawyers have longed complained that the “honest services” theory has been ill defined and applied too broadly by prosecutors in corporate crime cases. The Supreme Court has reigned in the interpretation and said it only applies to cases involving bribes and kickbacks.”