Risk Management

Conrad Black Sentenced in Fraud Case

The former Hollinger media tycoon enraged prosecutors and did not "accept" his guilt, said Judge St. Eve.
Stephen TaubDecember 10, 2007

Conrad Black will be spending less time in prison than some experts had predicted. The one-time media mogul was ordered to serve 6.5 years in prison by U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve for stealing millions of dollars from a company he had controlled

The judge had said earlier in the sentencing proceedings that Black faced between 78 and 97 months under sentencing guidelines. Some observers had handicapped that Black would be ordered to serve between 19 years and 25 years, according to the Chicago Tribune. The paper noted that one of Black’s attorney told Judge St. Eve that “for a man of 63,” a sentence of that length “would be life without parole.”

Judge St. Eve told Black he has not “accepted” his guilt, that he abused the trust of shareholders and engaged in sophisticated schemes that required more than minimal planning, according to a report from Reuters.

In July, the former chairman and chief executive of Hollinger International Inc., was found guilty by a federal jury of three counts of mail fraud and one count of obstruction of justice. He was acquitted of nine other counts, including racketeering and misuse of corporate perquisites, according to press reports.

Three former Hollinger executives — including an ex-CFO — were found guilty of three counts of mail fraud. Together, the foursome were accused of defrauding the corporation and its shareholders of $60 million. Black was charged with illegally diverting millions of dollars in non-compete payments to himself, co-defendants John Boultbee and Peter Atkinson, and former Hollinger chief operating officer F. David Radler, the wire service reported.

Furthermore, Black is said to have has repeatedly denied his guilt, dismissing the government’s case against him as “rubbish,” reported London’s The Guardian. The paper added that the fallen media tycoon had enraged prosecutors by dubbing them “Nazis” and “pygmies,” and noted that the prosecution team pinned the comments on an office bulletin board.