From the December 2007 Idaho Observer:

Media mogul gets sent down for 78 months

Canadian-born Conrad Moffat Black, Baron Black of Crossharbour, 63, was sentenced to serve 78 months in a federal prison for defrauding the media empire he built of at least $6.1 million. Black, who renounced his Canadian citizenship in 2001 to accept an appointment as a life peer in the British House of Lords, at one time owned The Jerusalem Post, The London Daily Telegraph and started The Canadian National Post. By the late 90s, Black also owned over 400 newspapers in North America, including the Chicago Sun Times and hundreds of smalltown American newspapers. During his career, Black has also been a financier and biographer.

Black was convicted on July 13, 2007 on multiple counts of fraud and sentenced December 10, 2007 to serve 78 months in federal prison and pay a U.S. $125,000 fine. The BBC reported that "Black, who remained impassive as the verdicts were read out, was found guilty of taking money owed to investors of Hollinger International in the form of ‘non-compete’ payments originating from the sale of newspaper titles."

At sentencing, Judge Amy St. Eve told him he had abused the trust of shareholders. "I cannot understand how somebody of your stature could engage in the conduct you engaged in and put everything at risk...In this country, no one is above the law."

Black’s Canadian lawyer, Edward Greenspan, has stated that an appeal of Black’s convictions will be filed in due course. Black is being allowed to remain free pending appeal, or until March, 2008 when he is ordered to report to a Florida federal prison near Miami.

The case was prosecuted by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald who infamously prosecuted Scooter Libby over the Valerie Plame/CIA leak case, had evidence to prosecute vice-President Cheney in the same case and chose not to.

It is hard to say at this time why "they" chose to bring Lord Black down, particularly since he has so many friends in high places, many of whom forwarded letters of recommendation to the court prior to sentencing. Perhaps a clue is contained in the following quote attributed to Black, who had a notorious disregard for reporters "A substantial number of journalists are ignorant, lazy, opinionated and intellectually dishonest. The profession is heavily cluttered with aged hacks, toiling through a miasma of mounting decrepitude and often alcoholism."