ATHENS, Greece (AP) _ A former banker whose alleged embezzlement of $210 million led to a scandal that brought down the government in 1989 was convicted Thursday of forgery.

George Koskotas, former chairman of the Bank of Crete, was sentenced to five years in prison, the maximum for a misdemeanor.

He will be tried later on embezzlement charges.

Socialist Premier Andreas Papandreou was cleared of corruption charges last week in the bank scandal. Koskotas had testified that in 1988 Papandreou ordered state companies to deposit funds with the bank and took bribes from stolen money.

In the forgery case, Koskotas was convicted of forging a 1988 statement by the New York-based investment firm, Merrill Lynch.

The document, which he sent to the government, said that three members of the Socialist government and two businessmen had deposited a total of $5.3 million with Merrill Lynch.

The politicians alleged he was suggesting they stashed money abroad to blackmail them into covering up his illegal activities.