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11 Romanians get jail for food agency fraud case

September 26, 2013

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A Romanian court has convicted a media mogul of money laundering and given him a five-year prison sentence for the fraudulent privatization of an agricultural institute. Ten other people were also convicted.

The Bucharest Court on Thursday convicted Dan Voiculescu, who resigned as a senator this year, of money laundering and fraud. It said he used 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 ($10.4 million).

Voiculescu said he would appeal.

Six other people including former telecommunications minister Sorin Pantis were handed six-year prison sentences and four people got five-year prison sentences for their roles in the 2003 sale.

The court also sentenced the eleven to pay 60.5 million euros ($81.7 million) in damages.

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