Conrad Black, the convicted felon who was once one of the world’s most powerful press barons, on Monday received 6 1/2 years in a U.S. federal prison for stealing millions from Hollinger International Inc.
Black, 63, stood in a packed courtroom as Judge Amy St. Eve handed down the sentence.
“Mr. Black, you have violated your duty to Hollinger International and its shareholders,” St. Eve said. “I frankly cannot understand how somebody of your stature … could engage in the conduct you engaged in and put everything at risk, including your reputation.”
St. Eve will recommend Black serve his time at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. He is to report on March 3.
Black, who maintained his composure and conferred with his lawyers after St. Eve left the courtroom, was also fined $125,000 US, and ordered to forfeit $6.1-million.
He arrived at the courthouse Monday morning with his wife, Barbara Amiel, and his daughter, Alana, who sat in the courtroom nearly every day of his four-month trial.
On July 13, a jury of three men and nine women convicted Black of four criminal charges – three counts of fraud related to non-compete payments he received during the sale of Hollinger International Inc.’s newspapers. He was also convicted of obstruction of justice related to his videotaped removal of 13 boxes from his Toronto office.
Federal prosecutors had sought a prison term of between 19 and 24 years.
In court filings, Black’s lawyers argued he should receive a prison term closer to the 29-month sentence his former right-hand man, David Radler, negotiated with the government.