Former newspaper mogul Conrad Black was sentenced Monday to 6 1/2 years in prison for swindling shareholders in his Hollinger International media empire out of millions of dollars.
Black, 63, a Canadian-born member of the British House of Lords renowned for his lavish lifestyle and flamboyant way with words, had faced up to slightly more than 8 years in prison under sentencing guidelines determined earlier Monday by U.S. District Judge Amy J. St. Eve.
Federal prosecutors previously asked St. Eve, who presided over Black's four-month trial earlier this year, to sentence the silver-haired press lord to federal prison for as long as 24 years for his July 13 convictions on three counts of mail fraud and one count of obstruction of justice.
Before he was sentenced, Black was variously described as generous and highly charitable, as well as defiant and without remorse.
Asked if he wished to speak before sentencing, Black -- who did not testify at the trial -- professed "profound regret and sadness at the severe hardship inflicted on all the shareholders" after he left the company. But he did not apologize for any actions he took while heading Hollinger.
St. Eve said Black could remain free on his $21 million bond until reporting to prison. A report date was not immediately set.
A major point of dispute among attorneys had been how to calculate the total loss to shareholders. Prosecutors put it at $32 million. But a pre-sentence report, prepared by the probation department, figured the loss at $6 million, which could have factored in to the decision to keep Black's sentence at the low end of the guidelines.
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