PARIS Dec 8 A former minister who led a French
government crackdown on tax evasion was sentenced to three years
in jail on Thursday for hiding an offshore bank account of his
own, in a scandal that deeply embarrassed President Francois
A Paris court found Jerome Cahuzac, a cosmetic surgeon by
trade who was made budget minister when Hollande won power in
2012, guilty of tax fraud and money laundering.
The verdict marks the end of a saga that shocked France and
shook Hollande, who promised as he took power that his
government would be beyond reproach after years of corruption
accusations that dogged his predecessors.
Cahuzac, who specialised in hair transplants and consultancy
work for drugs companies before becoming a minister, resigned in
disgrace in 2013 when he admitted having held an undeclared
account over 20 years, first in Switzerland and later in
Prior to that he had repeatedly denied the existence of such
an account, once in particularly dramatic fashion in a
declaration in the lower house of parliament.
After ultimately admitting he had lied, Cahuzac, now 64, was
also expelled from the Socialist Party, of which he been a
member since the 1970s.
Hollande, whose term ends in May 2017 and who said last week
he would not seek a second one, at the time condemned what he
called an unforgivable moral error.
Reyl bank of Geneva was also fined 1.875 million euros
($2.02 million) for its part in the affair.
($1 = 0.9267 euros)
(Reporting By Chine Labbe; Writing by Brian Love; Editing by