French Court Upholds Verdict Against Former PM Fillon

A French appeals court on Monday upheld a verdict against former right-wing Prime Minister François Fillon for embezzling public funds in a fake job scandal. 

In 2020, the court found Fillon and his wife, Penelope, guilty of fraud and sentenced Fillon to five years in prison, three suspended, for using public funds “to pay his wife and children for work they never performed,” while the court handed Penelope a three-year suspended sentence for being an accomplice in the fraud.  

On Monday, the court announced reduced sentences for the couple – Fillon down to four years in prison, three suspended, a fine of $395,550, and a 10-year ban from holding a public position, while Penelope, a reduced two-year suspended sentence and a fine of the same amount.   

According to reports, the couple, who were not present for Monday’s appeal court judgment, also created fake jobs in the Senate for two of their children and another fake job for Penelope at a friend’s magazine. 

Fillon and Penelope are unlikely to serve jail time since they can wear an electronic bracelet for a one-year non-suspended sentence, reports added. 

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