Context: the man is traveling by train and it's going to see his family again after a long period of time.
Er war allein im Abteil.
Vor Jahren hatte er sich von seiner Familie trennen müssen - denn er war mit dem Gesetz in Konflikt geraten, wie es so schön hieß.
I'm not sure at all on how I understand or translate the last part.
I believe here heißen = to mean.
Maybe here schön = nicely
My idea is that he was saying that he had conflict with the law but in reality he did bad things and he was responsible for them but he was avoiding saying or admitting it. So somehow this last part means he was put those things in a "nice" way saying he had conflict with the law.
Does it make sense? Is this more or less correct or I'm completely off track?
Thanks for your help.