Friday, January 15, 2021

Former Piatra Neamt mayor gets new jail conviction

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Former Piatra Neamt mayor Gheroghe Stefan was sentenced on Friday, June 29, to three years and three months in jail for money laundering, financial operations incompatible with his public position and using his influence and authority for getting undue benefits.

The sentence is final and Stefan will be incarcerated, local Digi24 reported.

The anticorruption prosecutors sent the former Piatra Neamt mayor to court in this case at the end of 2014. According to the prosecutors, Gheorghe Stefan, who served as mayor of Piatra Neamt from 2004 until 2014, also controlled and managed a construction company, Strong Montaj SA, which won contracts from local authorities in Neamt county.

Stefan, who was also an influential member of the ruling party at that time, the Democratic Liberal Party (PDL), apparently used his influence so that his company would get contracts and be paid by other public authorities. He also used various other firms he controlled to withdraw money from Strong Montaj, based on fictitious invoices.

This is Stefan’s second jail conviction. In October 2016, he was sentenced to six years in jail for influence peddling in the Microsoft overpriced IT licenses case. However, his sentence was halved to three and a half years, in 2017, after he made several denouncements in other cases investigated by the National Anticorruption Directorate – DNA. He was released on parole in September 2017.

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