Romanian media mogul, others get prison sentences for fraud, money laundering

Associated Press

A Romanian court has handed a media mogul a 10-year prison sentence for money laundering and fraudulently privatizing an agricultural institute. Six other people were also given prison sentences in the 2003 sale.

The Bucharest Appeals Court on Friday sentenced Dan Voiculescu for using his political influence to buy the Food Research Institute for 100,000 euros ($135,000) — a fraction of its estimated value of 7.7 million euros ($10.3 million). The court also ordered the confiscation of property, television studios and land belonging to his Antena media group to cover damages.

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Voiculescu says the case is politically motivated.

Former telecommunications minister Sorin Pantis received a seven-year prison sentence in the case, two others got eight-year prison sentences and three others received sentences ranging from four to six years.