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Former French PM Fillon found guilty of million-euro fake job fraud

Former French PM Fillon found guilty of million-euro fake job fraud”

A third defendant, Marc Joulaud - who stood in for Fillon in parliament when he was a cabinet minister, and who also hired Penelope Fillon as an assistant - was also found guilty. It means Fillon will avoid going to jail before the appeal is heard.

His 64-year-old wife, Penelope, was found guilty as an accomplice, given a three-year suspended sentence and also fined €375,000.

The disgraced politician was sentenced to five years in jail, with three of them suspended, and fined €375,000 (approximately £343,310) for the crime.

French investigators have said Penelope Fillon never set foot in the National Assembly despite being paid as a full-time aide, first to her husband when he was in Parliament and then his replacement.

The case ruined Fillon's 2017 presidential bid, at a time when he was widely tipped to result as the victor, paving the way for Emmanuel Macron's election.

But the court rejected the request Monday, even though President Emmanuel Macron - whose path to the presidency was cleared by Fillon's downfall - requested an investigation over the prosecutor's claims.

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Penelope Fillon's role alongside her husband drew all the attention during the February-March trial, which focused on determining whether her activities were in the traditional role of an elected official's partner - or involved actual paid work. He will remain ineligible for any political office for ten years.

Fillon was accused of misuse of public funds, receiving money from the misuse of public funds and the misappropriation of company assets.

The paper alleged Fillon's wife, Penelope, had been his parliamentary assistant for 15 years-except there was no evidence she did any work.

A consummate political insider who was prime minister under Nicolas Sarkozy, Fillon had been the frontrunner in the 2017 election race when the allegations surfaced. He was also a minister under two previous presidents, Francois Mitterrand and Jacques Chirac.

Fillon met his Welsh-born wife while she was studying at the Sorbonne in Paris, and the couple soon married and moved to an imposing country estate near Le Mans where they raised their five children.



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