Through it all, Conrad went to trial on 13 counts of which the jury acquitted him of nine counts. The most serious of those 13 counts were charges of racketeering and tax evasion. Conrad beat them all. The jury convicted Conrad on obstruction for obeying an eviction order from Hollinger and taking his property from his erstwhile office. Tom Wolfe summed up the jury's behavior: "They had to get him for something." It is a long way from $400 million to $285,000.
The other three charges on which he was found guilty involved "honest services fraud." He went to prison on this charge and on the obstruction charge, but he hired a gifted lawyer, Miguel Estrada, who took the charges to the Supreme Court and got the honest services law overturned. That is about the only thing I can say that was good about the federal government's proceedings against Conrad. We can thank him for eliminating the misuse of "the honest services" clause, but boy did it cost him. He spent a fortune on lawyers, lost his liberty, and his papers are all gone.
Last Friday, Conrad left his Florida prison and flew back to Canada. He will not be allowed back in the United States due to his conviction. He has been one of America's most ardent defenders, but his days here are no more. He is up in Toronto sipping white wine, living in his handsome mansion surrounded by his family, and enjoying his freedom.