Sorin Ovidiu Vântu, sentenced to 10 years in prison in a fifth file

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Bucharest Court of Appeal has sentenced businessman Sorin Ovidiu Vântu to ten years in prison in the file where he had been tried for embezzling the patrimony of the Employees Association of SNP Petrom.

The ruling is final. In a first court, the former tycoon has been sentenced to 10 years and six months in prison.

Vântu is currently under bars, serving jail time in a fourth case where he had been sentenced to 8 years in prison in the FNI high-sounding loot case.

The businessman, also known as SOV, was sentenced to eight years in prison in the National Investment Fund (FNI) loot in February 2017. He had been sent to court in this case on September 24, 2012, facing charges of money laundering and abetment in embezzlement.

Initially, the Bucharest Tribunal gave SOV two sentences, each of four years in prison for money laundering, while exonerating him of abetment in embezzlement. Following the merger of the two sentences, the court decided that the businessman should serve six years and four months in jail. Moreover, judges seized almost USD 7.3 M from Vintu, money that he obtained following money laundering.

SOV has been imprisoned at Rahova Penitentiary on July 22, 2016 following a sentence of 6 years and two months in prison in Petromservice file. Next to him, former trade unionist Liviu Luca also got six years in prison.

Vântu has been sentenced in three files so far, with sentences served.

In January 2014 SOV has been sentenced to two years in prison by the Supreme Court in the case of favoring Nicolae Popa, another defendant in the FNI file. Previously, Vântu had been sentenced to 2 years in prison for blackmail Sebastian Ghita.

The National Investment Fund was a company set up by Sorin Ovidiu Vântu in 1996, as a pyramidal financial scheme. However, Vântu sold his shares to Ioana Maria Vlas in 1997. In May 2000, FNI collapsed, leaving about 318,000 investors harmed.

Soon after the fund’s collapse, Vlas fled to Israel but she returned to Romania in 2003 and imprisonned, but it was only in 2009 that a final ruling was pronounced in her case: ten years in prison. However, she was released in 2010. After the release, Vlas admitted her guilt and involvement in the FNI collapse, but claimed that the real mastermind of the affair was Sorin Ovidiu Vântu.

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