Deposed media mogul Conrad Black walked free from a US prison Friday after serving a second jail term of some eight months for fraud and obstruction of justice, prison officials told AFP.
"Mr Conrad Black has been released this morning from FCC Coleman in Florida," Chris Burke, spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, said.
After earlier spending nearly two and a half years in prison, Black, 67, was sentenced in June 2011 to a further 13 months in prison. He was being released early for good behavior and for time served.
The flamboyant newspaper baron, who once counted politicians and pop stars among his entourage, built up the world's third largest media empire.
His release has caused a political row in Canada amid revelations that even though he renounced his Canadian citizenship to become a British Lord, he will now be allowed to return home to Canada.
Black's Hollinger International group's flagship titles included Britain's Daily Telegraph, the Chicago Sun-Times, Canada's National Post, the Jerusalem Post and the Sydney Morning Herald.
At its peak it had revenues in the billions and daily circulation in the millions.
Foreseeing the decline of print media as a result of the Internet, Black began selling off hundreds of newspapers in 1999.
His downfall came from payments written into sales contracts that amounted to huge -- and improperly disclosed -- tax-free bonuses for Black and other executives.
Black was forced out in 2003 after shareholders accused him of engaging in a $500 million "corporate kleptocracy" and was charged with US securities fraud in 2004.
Black and his associates were ultimately convicted of stealing $6.1 million by awarding themselves tax-free bonuses from newspaper sell-offs without the approval of the board of the Hollinger holding company.
Black was also convicted of obstruction of justice for removing 13 boxes from his Toronto office after he found out he was being investigated by US securities officials.
He had served 29 months of a 78-month sentence when the US Supreme Court tossed out the "honest services" law that had formed the basis of his 2007 conviction.
Released from prison in 2010 while his case was reexamined by the courts, Black succeeded in shedding two more counts on appeal. That brought the total fraud down to $600,000, of which Black received less than half. He was then sentenced to a further 13 months in jail.
The closely-watched case included accusations that Black threw lavish parties for his wife on the company dime and abused his corporate jet privileges while taking exotic vacations.
Black reported to a Miami prison in September as his memoirs professing his innocence hit bookshelves.
In "A Matter of Principle," Black hit out at a justice system he was convinced failed him and insisted he would "never ask for mercy and seek no one's sympathy."
But he has launched a series of libel lawsuits in Canada to strike back at the detractors he blames for destroying his once vast empire.