A French court has sentenced to eight years in jail a tycoon, who previously made unrelated donations to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, over a massive fraud scheme. Arnaud Mimran was convicted of fraud on Thursday and sentenced to eight years in prison and one million-euro fine for the 2008-2009 fraud, which French authorities say resulted in a major tax shortfall.
Mimran has been on trial as a key suspect in a 283 million-euro scam in the trade and taxation of carbon emissions permits. Ten other defendants were also given prison terms ranging from one to eight years and six were also fined 1 million euros. All the defendants were convicted of aggravated fraud and money-laundering.
Half of the defendants were tried in absentia and one person was acquitted. The tax scam case has been described as “the heist of a century” by French authorities. During his trial, the French magnate also testified that on another occasion he had made 1 million euros to Netanyahu’s election campaign. Netanyahu’s office has denied any campaign payments and said the contribution was made in 2001 to a fund used while he held no office.