Prosecutors at media mogul Conrad Black’s fraud trial tried to use his own words against him Wednesday, reading jurors portions of a letter in which he justified billing his companies for a personal chef and chauffeur and scoffed at taking “vows of poverty” for shareholders.

“We have a certain style that all these shareholders were well aware of when they came in,” Black wrote in the September 2002 letter to executives of his Hollinger media empire. “We should fine tune that style, not revolutionize it with a Damascene conversion to vows of poverty.”