Milan, June 20 - Former Lombardy governor Roberto Formigoni was "particularly wily and unscrupulous" in a case of healthcare corruption linked to the Maugeri clinic for which he got six years in jail at first instance, judges said in a December 22 sentence whose explanation was issued Tuesday. The former centre-right politician, who is out of jail pending appeal, caused "grave damage" to the region, the explanation said. In December a court of first instance in Milan sentenced the Senator for the centre-right now-defunct NCD (now AP) party to six years in prison for corruption in the health sector. The Senator, who was on trial with nine other defendants, was cleared of criminal conspiracy charges. Formigoni was also banned from holding public office for six years. He was ordered to pay three million euros to the Lombardy region, where he served as governor from 1995 until the end of 2012, when the whole Lombardy government resigned after a wave of scandals. The court, in addition, ordered the confiscation of 6.6 million euros, including 50% of a villa in Sardinia to be handed back to Formigoni's close friend Alberto Perego, another defendant in the trial who was acquitted. The ex-governor was found guilty of corruption linked to the Pavia-based Maugeri health-care foundation specialized in rehabilitation. Trial prosecutors had asked for a nine-year prison sentence. The Senator was accused of favoring the Maugeri foundation when he was governor in exchange for luxury holidays abroad, the exclusive use of three yachts, large sums of cash paid on a regular basis, luxury dinners and the purchase of the Sardinian villa. The investigation kicked off in 2012. Prosecutors say that the Maugeri foundation paid a reported 61 million euros from 1997 until 2011 to businessman Pierangelo Dacco', a friend of Formigoni's, and former executive regional councilor Antonio Simone for benefits to Formigoni. State attorneys also said, in another part of the investigation, that the San Raffaele hospital in Milan paid an additional nine million between 2005 and 2006 to Dacco' and Simone to grant the governor benefits worth a total of eight million euros. The governor, in exchange, granted illicit healthcare reimbursements worth 200 million euros for the Maugeri fund, according to investigators. Formigoni has consistently denied wrongdoing and says he paid for holidays on a boat provided by Dacco'. Overall five of the defendants were acquitted and five, including Formigoni, were convicted. Dacco' was sentenced to nine years and two months in jail while Simone was sentenced to eight years and eight months. The former administrative director of the Maugeri fund, Costantino Passerino, was sentenced to seven years and entrepreneur Carlo Farina to three years and four months. In 2013, a Milan appeals court sentenced Dacco' to nine years in prison for embezzling money through the San Raffaele hospital in Milan. According to the court, Dacco' helped create the so-called "San Raffaele system", whereby entrepreneurs who worked under contract for the hospital would intentionally overbill clients and give the difference to Dacco' who used the money for slush funds. He was also found guilty of misappropriating assets and tax fraud.
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