Cairo Criminal Court on Thursday sentenced former steel tycoon Ahmed Ezz to seven years in prison, fined him LE12,858 and ordered him to return LE6.429 billion in public money that he was found guilty of laundering.
Shady al-Barqouqy, head of the Supreme State Security Prosecution, said that over nine years Ezz has used various methods to launder money, including establishing several companies under his name and those of wife and sons. The companies had accounting books stating fake profits and he used them to transfer state funds to his personal bank account and those of his companies abroad.
“This money is not clean,” the prosecution argued. “The defendant has poured it into a company he owns abroad … while the people were suffering from poverty.”
Ezz, a close associate of former President Hosni Mubarak’s son Gamal, was sentenced in September 2011 to 10 years in prison for illegally obtaining licenses for steel plants.
Several former government officials and Mubarak associates have been convicted of corruption, including former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly, former Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif, former Finance Minister Youssef Boutros Ghali and former Housing Minister Ahmad al-Maghraby.
Edited translation from MENA