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Romanian officials get suspended sentences for housing scam

March 23, 2015

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A Romanian court has handed suspended prison sentences to ten former defense ministry officials, including a former minister, for abusing their positions and buying state rental apartments at subsidized prices.

The Court for Cassation and Justice on Monday gave former minister Corneliu Dobritoiu a one-year suspended sentence for being part of a scheme between 1999 and 2005 where top defense ministry officials made false statements to obtain the cheap housing.

Dobritoiu was minister from May to Dec. 2012.

Nine other officials, all of whom have been stripped of their ranks, were handed suspended prison sentences and ordered to pay back the sum of 1.2 million lei ($295,000) between them to the defense ministry. It wasn’t immediately clear if the officials would appeal their sentences.

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