A federal judge ruled Wednesday that former Hollinger International CEO Conrad Black cannot return to his home in Canada as he awaits sentencing for his conviction on fraud charges:
He will have to content himself to commuting between his suite at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Chicago and his $35 million (according to the most recent appraisal) home in Palm Beach, Fla.
Black offered to forfeit that home and any claim on the $10 million sale of his Park Avenue penthouse if he did not return from Canada for his sentencing.
But prosecutors said the homes were not his to offer. All Black's assets are claimed by the government or other people who have sued him, so he really has nothing to offer as collateral to persuade the judge to trust him to return, they argued.
U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve said of Black, "He's not a man to run away and hide," but he could change his mind at the last minute and fight a lengthy battle in the Canadian courts, she said. So he is restricted to northern Illinois and southern Florida.
"Have a nice summer," Black said to journalists with an understated wave as he left court with his wife, Barbara Amiel Black.
Black will be sentenced Nov. 30.
During the 1990s, Hollinger was the parent company of American Publishing, which owned The Carthage Press and the Neosho Daily News.