Netanyahu donor convicted in France over vast tax scam

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A French court has convicted and jailed a tycoon over a 283 million-euro carbon tax scam after a trial in which he testified he made unrelated campaign donations to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Arnaud Mimran was sentenced Thursday to eight years and a 1 million-euro fine for the 2008-2009 fraud, which resulted in a major tax shortfall for French authorities.

The Paris court gave prison terms ranging from one to eight years for 10 other defendants. All were convicted of aggravated fraud and money-laundering. One person was acquitted.

Half were tried in absentia and are believed to be in Israel.

Netanyahu's office denied any campaign payments and said Mimran lawfully contributed in 2001 to a fund used while Netanyahu held no office. The Israeli attorney-general is investigating.