Berlusconi could get community service for tax fraud

Jan. 20, 2014 at 5:22 PM

MILAN, Italy, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi may avoid prison on a tax fraud conviction if a judge grants him community service instead, officials said.

Berlusconi, who has faced years of legal proceedings in multiple cases, was finally hit with his first binding conviction for tax evasion at his media empire Mediaset last year. He was first sentenced to four years in prison in August but an amnesty cut that sentence to one year. Now the 77-year-old, who remains free, will face a judge April 10 in Milan to determine whether he will serve that time performing community service, Italy's ANSA news agency reported Monday.

Several other criminal cases remain pending against Berlusconi, including allegations he had sex with an underage prostitute during one of his now-infamous "bunga bunga" parties, used his office to cover it up and bribed a senator to switch political parties.

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