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Silvio Berlusconi Found Guilty of Tax Evasion, Sentenced to Prison

Ian Waldie/Getty Images(MILAN, Italy) -- Silvio Berlusconi, the former prime minister of Italy, was found guilty Friday of tax evasion. He was sentenced to four years in prison.

In Italy, cases must pass two levels of appeal before the verdicts are final, so it’s possible that Burlusconi may never serve a day behind bars.

The conviction is the first for the 76-year-old media mogul. Other criminal probes and trials had ended in acquittals or were thrown out.

Berlusconi stepped down in November after three terms and nine years in office, when Italy found itself on the brink of the European financial crisis and the premier was laid low by a spiraling sex scandal.

Allegations emerged in 2010 that Berlusconi hosted at Villa Certosa lavish orgies, or so-called "bunga bunga" parties.

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