A Geneva court has found Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz guilty of corruption.
Steinmetz, who is reportedly a silent supporter of New York real estate, was sentenced to five years in prison for paying bribes to a Guinean public official in order to secure the rights to an iron ore mine.
Official Mamadie Toure is the wife of the late former Guinean President Lansana Conte. Steinmetz’s lawyer denied that the mogul would be involved in any payment, according to Bloomberg News.
“The fact that Steinmetz didn’t know all the details doesn’t change anything,” the judge said. “Steinmetz had his hand on the payments and could oversee the bribery process.”
Steinmetz allegedly described the decision as “a great injustice.” His lawyer said they would appeal.
Last month, Steinmetz was sentenced to five years in a separate case in Romania. In such a case, the court found that Steinmetz and his partner Tal Silberstein, a media consultant, worked with a Romanian businessman and grandson of the former king of the country in an attempt to deceive the state.
Steinmetz, who became rich in the diamond trade, is also reportedly a quiet real estate investor, according to sources. In the past, he was tied to Chrysler Building and HFZ Capital Group, although he “energetically” denied his involvement in his Chelsea project, XI.
[Bloomberg News] – Sylvia Varnham O’Regan