AC Milan owner and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has received a one year sentence for jail fraud although a potential appeal means he will remain at large for now. The sentence is the culmination of a six year case.
The court initially handed down a four year term but this was reduced to one under Italy’s 2006 amnesty law.
The case centred around the purchase of US film rights at inflated prices through two offshore companies which he controled, thus avoiding Italian taxation.
Berlusconi and his co-defendants must also pay $13m in damages and banned him from holding any public office for three years, thus ending his political career. Both the sentence and the fine must be upheld by a higher court to take effect.
He can still own AC Milan although Berlusconi’s other company Fininvest which owns the club is also being prosecuted in another case.
In another development, Italian Football Federation (FIGC) is to open disciplinary proceedings relating to a match in 2010. Napoli beat Sampdoria 1-0 on the last day of the 2010 season.
Napoli captain Paulo Cannavaro and another defender Gianluca Grava have been fined for not reporting the match fixing scandal as has the Naples club.
The FIGC website posted the following:
A statement on the federation’s official website read:
“The FIGC can confirm that, following an investigation by the public prosecutor of Naples, the federal prosecutor will open disciplinary proceedings in relation to the Sampdoria-Napoli match of 16 May, 2010.
Matteo Gianello, Napoli’s former player, and Silvio Giusti, Napoli’s former coach, are accused of violating Article 7 (sections 1, 2 and 5) of the sporting code of justice. Between them, they are accused of attempting to alter the outcome of the match to secure a victory for Sampdoria in exchange for money.
They are also accused of having approached colleagues Paolo Cannavaro and Gianluca Grava, from whom they received a refusal.”
The action is part of a wider investigation into match fixing in Italian football and around Europe which has already led to many arrests.