Maverick Tapie convicted of fraud

French business maverick Bernard Tapie has been sentenced to three years in jail for tax fraud.

But the former Marseille football club owner will not go to prison after the judge took into account time already served for previous convictions.

The Paris Criminal Court found Tapie guilty of failing to pay 7m euros (£4.7m) in tax between 1993 and 1994.

In September, the self-made millionaire was awarded 135m euros in damages over the sale of his Adidas empire.

The businessman was urban affairs minister under Socialist president Francois Mitterrand.

The judge said the jail term should run concurrently with earlier convictions against Tapie, who spent eight-months in jail after being convicted in 1997 over a football match fixing scandal and tax fraud.

“The court considered that his sentence had already been served and that there was no need to serve the [new] sentence,” said his lawyer Maurice Lantourne.

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