French court upholds prison sentence for former Prime Minister François Fillon – POLITICO

A Paris appeals court on Monday upheld but reduced former French Prime Minister François Fillon’s prison sentence over the so-called fake jobs scandal.

Fillon was originally sentenced in June 2020 to five years in prison, three of which were suspended, for embezzling public funds, but the Court of Appeal reduced that to four years, three of which were suspended. Fillon is unlikely to spend any time in prison as he may instead be ordered to wear a surveillance ankle bracelet.

Fillon appealed last November and although the court reduced the sentence, it upheld a €375,000 fine and banned him from public office for ten years. Fillon’s wife, Penelope, also had her sentence reduced from three years to two years probation.

The Fillons and ex-Prime Minister’s former deputy Marc Joulaud were on trial after it was revealed in 2017 that they had created “sham jobs” that netted Penelope Fillon around €1million in public money for little or no work.

Only some of the contracts for which the former prime minister and his wife were on trial have been recognized as fraudulent by the Court of Appeal.

The Penelopegate scandal ruined Fillon’s 2017 presidential campaign, when the Conservative candidate was leading the polls in the race for the Elysée Palace.

Penelope Fillon was hired as a parliamentary assistant and also had a job as a magazine consultant. Since retiring from politics, Fillon triggered criticism by taking Positions on the board of directors of the Russian oil company Zaroubejneft and the Russian petrochemical company Sibur. He Left both positions after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. French court upholds prison sentence for former Prime Minister François Fillon – POLITICO

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