French court condemns former Prime Minister Fillon and wife Penelope for falsifying public funds

On Monday, a French court found former Prime Minister Francois Fillon guilty of embezzling public funds in a fake job scandal that ruined his run for President 2017 and opened the door to Elysée Palace for Emmanuel Macron.

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Fillon’s bid for the presidency was discovered after allegations emerged that he had paid his British-born wife Penelope hundreds of thousands of euros to have done little, if any, work as his parliamentary assistant.

“The payment was disproportionate to the work performed,” the chief judge said, reading the court’s ruling. “Mrs. Fillon was hired for a vacant position.”

An accomplished political insider who was Prime Minister under Nicolas Sarkozy, Fillon had been the leader in the election race when the accusations surfaced. At that time, he denied wrongdoing, resisted party pressure to withdraw his candidacy and was eliminated in the first vote.

The court also sentenced Fillon’s wife for contributing to embezzlement and concealing public money.

The court will dismiss a verdict soon.

(Reuters)

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