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Tsochadzopoulos Sentenced for Money Laundering Over Swiss Contract

Αssociated Press

In this Thursday, April 28, 2011 file photo, Former Greek Defense Minister Akis Tsochadzopoulos, addresses the Greek Parliament, in Athens. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris, File)

ATHENS -- Former minister Akis Tsochadzopoulos, his wife and his cousin were found guilty of money laundering by a criminal appeals court on Tuesday.

Each was served a six-year sentence and a 100,000-euro fine, but they were set free on 20,000-euro bails each, as their sentences were suspended. They were also banned from leaving the country.

The case relates to a house insurance contract signed by Nikos Zigras, Tsochadzopoulos' cousin, in December 1998 in Switzerland. The three were found guilty of laundering money gained by joint illegal action. Specifically, from illegal 'gifts' to the former minister that ended up in Swiss accounts of Zigras and the former minister's wife, Vicki Stamati.

Tsochadzopoulos has served jail time for money laundering and other charges related to defense procurements before he was released for health reasons.