Berlusconi Jail Time: Former Italian PM Sentenced to Four Years for Tax Fraud

Former Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, has been sentenced to four years in prison by a court in Milan for tax fraud. This comes as a blow to the media mogul who just two days ago said he would not run for office as leader of the People of Freedom Party. The ruling also said that Berlusconi couldn't run for public office for three years. Why stack that on top when he is supposed to be in jail four years anyway? Well, because it's unlikely he will go to jail in the first place.

Berlusconi has always been a rather uncouth character in Italian politics. He was well known for his “bunga bunga” parties — one of which ended up with him being charged with having sexual relations with a minor. Berlusconi resigned as Prime Minister of Italy last year after failing to steer the country out of financial catastrophe, and right after economic austerity measures were implemented. He was succeeded by the technocratic government of Mario Monti.

Silvio and members of his company, Mediaset, have been prosecuted for inflating the prices payed for TV rights and funneling the excess money into slush funds. However, the chance that Berlusconi actually serves his time is very slim. He still has two appeals left to go through, which he surely will, and considering that it took six years for this trial to reach its conclusion, it's very unlikely this 76 year old man will spend a day in jail. Plus, the statute of limitations on this case is expected to expire next year, and with an appeal in the works, Berlusconi may simply be able to run out the clock.

However, even if Berlusconi stays out of jail, at least these allegations have kept him from running from office again. Italy is in dire straights financially and Berlusconi's populism was a distraction from reasonable, but painful, choices Italians really had to make. Berlusconi has certainly disgraced himself, but the question is did he do it to a degree so as to deter other deep pocketed media types from attempting to run a country like a personal media firm.

Photos from Berlusconi's bunga bunga parties:


How much do you trust the information in this article?

David Allen

Most of what people think is happening isn't actually happening. People should probably calm down. I'll talk 'em to sleep.

MORE FROM

Amid new revelations, here’s what we’ve learned about the Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr.

The picture of Natalia Veselnitskaya is coming into clearer focus.

Republican Senator urges whoever leaked Russia/Sessions phone calls to release whole conversation

Sen. Chuck Grassley wants the person who leaked intelligence about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak to come forward with more information.

Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort now to testify before Senate committee behind closed doors

Trump Jr. and Manafort have avoided a subpoena and will testify behind closed doors — for now.

Hope Hicks reportedly tried to rein Trump in during explosive ‘Times’ interview. It didn’t work.

The low-profile Trump Whisperer is one of the few in the president's orbit to enjoy job security.

Scaramucci once asked Obama if he’d be softer on Wall Street. It didn’t end well.

The exchange came during a CNBC town hall on the financial crisis, two years into Obama’s presidency.

Trump blasts Hilary Clinton, Comey and ‘Amazon Washington Post’ in tweet storm

He also defended Don Jr. and called Democrats "obstructionists" with "no ideas."

Amid new revelations, here’s what we’ve learned about the Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr.

The picture of Natalia Veselnitskaya is coming into clearer focus.

Republican Senator urges whoever leaked Russia/Sessions phone calls to release whole conversation

Sen. Chuck Grassley wants the person who leaked intelligence about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak to come forward with more information.

Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort now to testify before Senate committee behind closed doors

Trump Jr. and Manafort have avoided a subpoena and will testify behind closed doors — for now.

Hope Hicks reportedly tried to rein Trump in during explosive ‘Times’ interview. It didn’t work.

The low-profile Trump Whisperer is one of the few in the president's orbit to enjoy job security.

Scaramucci once asked Obama if he’d be softer on Wall Street. It didn’t end well.

The exchange came during a CNBC town hall on the financial crisis, two years into Obama’s presidency.

Trump blasts Hilary Clinton, Comey and ‘Amazon Washington Post’ in tweet storm

He also defended Don Jr. and called Democrats "obstructionists" with "no ideas."