Black, a Canadian-born member of the British House of Lords who counted among his associates many high-profile neoconservatives like Richard Perle, was initially charged in 2005. When his trial started in Chicago in March 2007, the original federal charges brought against Black included racketeering, mail and tax fraud, money laundering, and obstruction of justice. U.S. prosecutors alleged that Black cheated stockholders out of some $80 million in assets, largely through the inappropriate sales of company holdings. The estimated loss to Hollinger shareholders was eventually reduced to $6 million.
Black also was convicted of obstruction of justice after jurors saw a video of him carrying boxes of documents out of his offices, loading them into his car and driving off with them.