A French court sentenced Arnaud Mimran, a tycoon who previously donated money to prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to eight years in prison on fraud charges, reports Haaretz.
Mimran has been on trial as a key suspect in an alleged scam involving more than 280 million euros in the trade and taxation of carbon emissions permits.
Mimran was one of 12 suspects in a massive fraud scheme that involved buying carbon credits in EU countries where no value added tax was charged and charging 19.6 percent VAT when reselling them in France. The tax money was never remitted to the government.
Details of Mimran's ties with Netanyahu have come to light during the trial, including testimony by Mimran that he contributed about one million euros to one of Netanyahu's election campaigns.
Spokesmen for Netanyahu have described Mimran's testimony as "lies and falsehoods."
According to material in the possession of Haaretz and Mediapart, Mimran is believed to have received the 50 million euros in cash from French-Israeli criminal Sami Sweid, during his frequent visits to Israel.