Berlusconi charged with false accounting

Silvio Berlusconi, the former Italian prime minister, has been charged with
false accounting, embezzlement and tax fraud.

These charges are in connection with his media conglomerate Mediaset’s
purchases of television broadcast rights for US movies, his lawyer said.

Berlusconi’s could face four to 12 years in jail if convicted of money
laundering and up to six years for tax fraud.

Prosecutors have alleged that Mediaset purchased television rights for
American movies before 1999 through two offshore companies, and made false
declarations of the costs to lower the tax bill.

Berlusconi has maintained his innocence and denied all wrongdoing.

Berlusconi is Italy’s richest man and was the country’s longest-serving
postwar leader.

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