Former media baron Conrad Black
pleaded not guilty Thursday to federal fraud charges in connection with the alleged looting of more than $80 million from the Hollinger International Inc. newspaper empire he once controlled.
The 61-year-old Black was arraigned in US District Court two weeks after being indicted with three other former Hollinger executives and accused of cheating on taxes and pilfering millions from the company to support a lavish lifestyle.
Black, who until recently controlled a large stable of newspapers from Chicago to London to Jerusalem
, had lambasted the charges at an appearance in his home city of Toronto last week, calling them "absolute nonsense" and "one massive smear job from A to Z."