U.S. President Donald Trump has signed a full pardon for Conrad Black.
The Montreal-born media mogul was convicted of three counts of fraud and one of obstruction of justice in 2007 and sentenced to six and a half years in jail – more than twice the sentence handed to David Radler, his longtime partner who agreed to testify for the prosecution.
Two of the criminal fraud charges were dropped on appeal. But a conviction for felony fraud and obstruction of justice were upheld in 2010 and he was re-sentenced to 42 months in prison and fined $125,000.
While in prison, Black tutored 150 students and helped them “achieve their educational goals,” according to a statement released by the White House.
The White House calls Black “an entrepreneur and scholar who has made tremendous contributions to business, as well as historical thought.”
The White House says a number of high-profile individuals vouched for Black’s character including former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Rush Limbaugh and Elton John.
“In light of these facts, Mr. Black is entirely deserving of the Grant of Executive Clemency.”
Black has been a vocal supporter of Trump and last year published a biography of the President called “Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other” in which he calls him a personal friend.
In a column Wednesday in the National Post, Black wrote how Trump called him and revealed the pardon.
“He could not have been more gracious and quickly got to his point: he was granting me a full pardon,” wrote Black, who used much of the rest of the column to explain the case. He called it a long ordeal that was “never anything but a confluence of unlucky events, the belligerence of several corporate governance charlatans, and grandstanding local and American judges, all fanned by an unusually frenzied international media showing exceptional interest in the case because I was a media owner.”
Black gave up his Canadian citizenship in 2001 after a dispute with then-prime minister Jean Chretien over his nomination to Britain’s House of Lords. He is still a British citizen.
Black remains banned by the Ontario Securities Commission from acting as a corporate director or officer of a public company in Ontario. He was also removed from the Order of Canada.
Files from The Canadian Press were used in this report