A Greek court on Friday passed down a six-year prison sentence to Artemis Sorras, the founder of the ultranationalist fringe part Convention of Greeks, after finding him guilty of attempting to defraud the state.
Earlier a prosecutor proposed that the self-professed multi-billionaire be found guilty of fraud charges but not racketeering, claiming that Sorras was acting alone when he attempted to defraud the Greek state of billions of euros by claiming to be able to pay off the country’s national debt in exchange for low-rate returns and bonds as collateral.
Prior to his run-in with the law, he had encouraged Greek citizens not to pay their tax and social security dues. The impact of his campaign on state coffers remains unclear, though authorities have found thousands of “Sorras payment slips” at Greek tax offices.
The court cleared 22 defendants also facing fraud charges in connection with Sorras' organization after accepting the prosecutor's proposal that there was no evidence that they formed part of a broader criminal organization.