NEWS

Larissa clan gets heavy prison terms for usury

A court in Larissa, central Greece, yesterday sentenced seven members of a local Roma family to a combined total of 126 years in jail after finding them guilty of multiple counts of usury and money laundering. The head of the clan, Constantinos Vilanakis, three of his sons and two sons-in-law received sentences ranging from 16 years to 25 years. Another son received a five-year sentence. In addition to the jail time, the family was hit with fines totaling 147,500 euros. Another 19 people, including nine betting shop owners, received suspended prison sentences for involvement in the protection racket. The scam was revealed in January 2006 when two bar owners alerted police after failing to keep up with payments. A total of 49 suspects had been implicated.