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AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi sentenced to four years in prison

AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi was sentenced to four years in prison on tax fraud charges. (VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/Getty Images)

AC Milan owner and former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been sentenced to 4 years in jail on tax fraud charges, European news agency are reporting.

An Italian court is set to deliver verdicts Friday against former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and 10 others in a six-year-old tax fraud trial.

Prosecutors allege the defendants were behind a scheme to purchase the rights to broadcast U.S. movies on Berlusconi's private television networks through a series of offshore companies and had falsely declared the payments to avoid taxes.

Prosecutors further allege the inflated the price for the TV rights of some 3,000 films as they relicensed them internally to Berlusconi's networks, pocketing the difference amounting to around €250 million.

Berlusconi's decision not to run for a fourth term as prime minister and legal problems have come in AC Milan's worst start in 71 years, leaving the club tied for 15th place and in danger of relegation.

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