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Stockbroker Parnes Released From Prison After Guinness Conviction

July 26, 1991

LONDON (AP) _ Stockbroker Anthony Parnes was released Friday from Ford Open Prison in West Sussex after serving 11 months in jail for his part in the Guinness scandal.

He was the last of the three defendants imprisoned as a result of the scandal to be freed.

Parnes was convicted along with Guinness’ former chairman, Ernest Saunders, and millionaire businessman Gerald Ronson of illegally rigging the stock market to inflate the price of Guinness PLC shares when the company successfully battled the Argyll supermarket chain for control of Distillers in 1986.

Financier Jack Lyon, 74, who was also convicted, escaped a prison sentence due to ill health. He was fined $5 million.

Parnes, 44, was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison last August but the Court of Appeal cut his sentence to 21 months in May, making him immediately eligible for parole.

Prison authorities, however, held him until Friday. A prison spokesman, speaking on condition he was not identified, confirmed his release from the low-security facility near England’s south coast but refused further comment.

Last month the Court of Appeal reduced the amount of court costs Parnes must pay from $743,600 to $557,700. He has until Sept. 30 to pay.

Parnes spent six months in prison in California while he unsuccessfully contested extradition to Britain.

Saunders had his five-year sentence halved by the Court of Appeal and was freed on parole on June 28. Ronson, chairman of the Heron group, was released in February after serving six months of a 12-month sentence.

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