French ex-budget minister sentenced to 2 years for tax fraud

PARIS — A former French budget minister, who was in charge of fighting tax evasion in the country, has been again convicted of tax fraud and money laundering but received a reduced sentence at his appeal trial.

A Paris appeals court on Tuesday sentenced Jerome Cahuzac to two years in prison for hiding his wealth in tax havens around the world, in one of the biggest political scandals in the last decade in France.

Cahuzac, who served under former socialist President Francois Hollande in 2012-2013, was also fined 300,000 euros ($360,000) and banned from running for office for five years.

The 65-year-old former cosmetic surgeon had been given a three-year sentence in his first trial in 2016.

His lawyer, Eric Dupond-Moretti, praised the appeal ruling as a "balanced decision."

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