Former socialist deputy minister convicted of usury

Former socialist deputy minister convicted of usury

A three-member criminal appeals court on Wednesday convicted a former socialist deputy education minister for collusion in usury and money laundering, in a case involving a loan granted to a tobacco seller from Kavala, northern Greece.

Yiannis Anthopoulos was handed a 15-year suspended sentence, while the court also ordered the seizure of his house in the southern suburb of Voula and bank savings worth 1.7 million euros. 

Another three co-defendants were convicted for usury and ordered to pay back a total of 5.7 million euros.

All four were also stripped of their electoral rights for five years, and the former minister along with another defendant were barred from leaving the country.

According to the case file, the former PASOK minister acted as an intermediary in the period 2002-2005 in order for tobacco company owner Odetti Petridi to receive a usurious loan from the company of the politician's co-defendants, totalling 17.6 million euros.

Anthopoulos received an extremely high interest rate on a loan, which is estimated to have secured him the sum of 1.7 million euros.

The case was revealed a few years ago after financial crimes unit SDOE discovered money in the bank accounts of the former minister and his wife which he was not able to legally justify.

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