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Former French budget minister Cahuzac sentenced to two years in prison

Eric Feferberg, AFP | Former French budget minister Jerome Cahuzac, leaves the Paris' courthouse on May 15, 2018, after the hearing of his appeal trial on tax fraud and money laundering.

Former budget minister Jérôme Cahuzac was sentenced Tuesday to four years in prison, two of them suspended, for tax fraud and money laundering.

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The Paris Court of Appeal also fined him €300,000 and banned him for running for office for five years.

Cahuzac, a cosmetic surgeon by trade who was made budget minister under former president Francois Hollande in 2012-13, still has the possibility to appeal.

The former budget minister was first sentenced in 2016 to three years in prison. He initially risked up to five years in prison and a €375,000 fine.

During the 2016 trial, Cahuzac told the court he had held a secret foreign bank account for about 20 years first in Switzerland and later in Singapore to maintain his family's standard of living.

In 2012, he joined François Hollande's presidential campaign team. He was given the task of handling the campaign finances.

After Hollande’s election, Cahuzac was appointed budget minister on the 16th of May, 2012. He was forced to resign in March 2013 after he admitted wrongdoing.

He was also expelled from the Socialist Party, of which he been a member since the 1970s.

In the wake of the scandal, the biggest under former president Hollande, France set up an anti-corruption agency and a national office to prosecute financial crimes.

 

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