A federal judge sentenced former Hollinger CEO Conrad Black to six and a half years in prison Monday. Black was found guilty of fraud and obstruction of justice after swindling his company out of millions:
Black, 63, a British lord, had the likes of Sir Elton John and political commentator George Will speaking up on his behalf. He was allowed by U.S. District Judge Amy J. St. Eve to keep his Florida mansion and sell his New York penthouse for profit.
St. Eve found Black's crimes cost the Chicago Sun-Times' parent company $6.1 million -- much less than the $32.15 million figure the government contends Black's crimes cost shareholders. Jurors rejected some of those counts that had buoyed the higher figure, St. Eve said.
With the feds seeking a 30-year prison term for Black, his attorney Jeffrey B. Steinback said his client expressed "a great deal of relief" at the sentence. "He's still in good spirits and still has good humor. And I think he's still hopeful for the future."
The U. S. wing of Hollinger, American Publishing Company, at one time owned The Carthage Press and the Neosho Daily News.
(Chicago Sun-Times photo by John H. White)