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Guinness Judge Rejects Tycoon’s Appeal of Fine

October 2, 1990

LONDON (AP) _ A judge on Tuesday rejected Gerald Ronson’s appeal of his $9.2 million fine in the Guinness scandal case, saying rich men must not be beyond punishment of the law.

Justice Denis Henry rejected Ronson’s claim that the fine, the largest in British history, was too great and could not be paid in nine months as the court demanded.

Ronson, 51, was found guilty last month, along with former Guinness chairman Ernest Saunders and stockbroker Anthony Parnes, of fraudulently engineering Guinness’ 1986 takeover of a Scottish distiller.

″Punishments are, after all, intended to be punitive, and the court must ensure that a man’s wealth and power does not put him beyond punishment,″ the judge said at a hearing.

Ronson, 51, will have another chance to appeal the fine through the Appeal Court.

Saunders, 55, was sentenced to five years in prison and Parnes, 45, received 2 1/2 years in jail for their part in the case, which involved boosting Guinness shares during the company’s takeover of the firm Distillers.

Saunder and Parnes are also appealing their fines.

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