Former Romanian deputy prime minister, businessman gets 4-year sentence for tax evasion

Markets Associated Press

A former Romanian deputy prime minister and businessman has been handed a four-year prison sentence for selling property to the national lottery at inflated prices and not declaring tax.

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The Bucharest Court handed the sentence Monday to George Copos for failing to pay more than 1 million euros ($1.34 million) in taxes on the sale of property owned by one of his companies, Ana Electronic. The company sold 38 overvalued commercial spaces to the national lottery in 2004, about six months before he took office.

The lottery's director, Nicolae Cristea, and two others were also handed four-year prison sentences. Another person got three years.

Copos, formerly one of Romania's richest businessmen, is currently in jail for tax evasion in the transfer of 12 football players to foreign clubs.