The Bucharest Appeals Court gave a 10-year prison sentence in the case of Romanian mogul Dan Voiculescu in a corruption case related to the privatisation of the Food Research Institute (ICA).
The historic verdict is final and comes after years of judicial procedures, delays, political maneuvering and media attacks on the judiciary. The case was started in 2008 and a previous court had given a five year sentence in the same case, but it was appealed.
The seizure of several properties as well as RON 5.8 million from Dan Voiculescu’s daughters – who are running his businesses officially now, was also decided as part of the verdict today. Twelve other people also involved in this corruption case received sentences of up to 8 years.
According to the case built against Voiculescu, the fraudulent privatization of ICA had been made to benefit him and his accomplices by under evaluating institute assets with over EUR 7.7 million. According to prosecutors the damages brought to the Romanian state amounted to over EUR 60 million.
Dan Voiculescu founded the Intact Media Group in 1991 when he invested in a printing house: Intact Typography. Two years later he would invest in a commercial television that would spawn the Antena TV empire. In 2005, Voiculescu left the Intact Media Group to dedicate himself to politics, leaving its businesses in the hands of its two daughters, Camelia and Corina.
All the companies that Voiculescu controls, directly or indirectly, generate operational income of EUR 150 million, 45 percent of which is produced through the Antena TV stations. At the end of 2012, Voiculescu’s companies had assets of EUR 208 million, according to economica.net.
In 2009, Voiculescu’s fortune was valued at EUR 1.5 billion, however in recent years, official documents show he only has EUR 340-360 million left, ziare.com writes. He’s been involved in several other scandals:
– DNA announced on April 3, 2007, that it was investigating Voiculescu, his daughter, and several business associates for money laundering, with regard to funds obtained through the national lottery.
– He’s been accused that his company, Grivco, bought electrical energy from the state-controlled Rovinari complex, and sold the energy back to Electrica, another state-controlled company, at a large profit.