The French court sentenced former French prime Francois Fillon and wife over embezzlement of public funds in a 'fake jobs' scandal

The French court sentenced Fillon’s wife, Penelope, of conspiracy to embezzle and conceal public money.

Francois Fillon, the former French prime minister has been found guilty of embezzlement of public funds in a fake jobs scandal that wrecked his 2017 run for president and opened the Elysee Palace door for Emmanuel Macron.

The dishonoured politician was sentenced to five years in jail, with 3 of them suspended, and penalized €375,000 (£343,310) for the crime. He has also been forbid from standing in any election for the next decade.

Ms Penelope was handed a 3-year suspended sentence and also penalized the same amount as her husband.

Judges sitting at the Paris Correctional Court pronounced that the couple fabricate fake jobs that paid Penelope hundreds of thousands of euros as his parliamentary assistant.

The chief judge peruse the court’s ruling, which determined that the “payment was out of proportion to the work done”. So he added, “Mrs Fillon was hired for a position that was without use.”

Penelope’s role drew much attention during the trial this year, which focused on learning whether her activities were in the traditional partnership role of an elected official, or if it involved concealing public money.

She described her work as mainly writing reports about local issues, opening the mail, meeting with residents helping to prepare speeches for local events and was offered different types of contracts as a parliamentary assistant.

Prosecutors condemn “fraudulent, systematic practices”, indicating lack of actual evidence of her work, including the absence of declarations for any paid vacations or maternity leave, as her wages reached up to nine times France’s minimum salary.