Businessman and former chairman of Larnaca football team AEK, Marios Ellinas was jailed on Wednesday for two years by Larnaca district court for laundering €1.5m.
The 42-year-old had been reported by eight different individuals of approaching them to participate in investment programmes abroad between 2007and 2010.
His defence lawyer Yiannis Polychronis told the Cyprus News Agency that the money was sent to someone in Germany to invest in stock exchanges and various platforms however the recipient did no such thing.
Polychronis said police had carried out investigations and found the money was indeed in the German man’s bank account.
Ellinas did not appropriate the money and had tried to return the money to the eight individuals by selling his personal property, which is still pending, his defence argued.
The court said such offences needed to be dealt with in a strict manner to send the right messages to society, but it also accepted as mitigating circumstances his clear record, the long time it took for the case to be heard and the sense of injustice Ellinas felt that the German man had not been punished nor had he appeared in court despite a European arrest warrant against him.