Anti-Semitic French comedian sentenced to jail for fraud

French comedian Dieudonne sent to two years in jail for tax fraud and money laundering.

Ben Ariel, Canada,

Dieudonne
Dieudonne
Reuters

French comedian and notorious anti-Semite Dieudonne was sentenced on Friday to two years in jail for tax fraud and money laundering by a court in Paris, the AFP news agency reports.

The controversial performer, who has also been found guilty of condoning terrorism in the past, has a loyal following in France, particularly in low-income suburban areas of major cities.

The court in Paris handed him a 200,000-euro ($225,000) fine, as well as the two-year jail sentence, which he is unlikely to serve under arrangements that will allow him to do community service instead, according to the report.

The trial related to over one million euros of undeclared earnings from the showman, whose full name is Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala.

Investigators found 657,000 euros at his home in cash, while he and accomplices sent 565,000 euros overseas, mainly to Cameroon where he has family roots.

The 53-year-old Dieudonne stirred up controversy several years ago when he invented the quenelle gesture, a reverse Nazi salute that has become extremely popular in anti-Semitic and extremist circles across the French-speaking world and worldwide.

He was widely accused of promoting anti-Semitism and already has a string of convictions in France for hate speech and other related offences, and saw his performances banned by French authorities due to their virulently anti-Semitic content. The comedian managed to have some of the bans overturned.

In 2015, a French court convicted Dieudonne of anti-Semitic comments and fined him $24,000.

He once invited a Holocaust denier onto stage and rails against the "Zionist lobby" which he claims controls the world, though he claims his right to free speech has been infringed.

Dieudonne was also barred from entering Canada in 2016, though he later performed in front of fans in Montreal via video link.

The controversial comedian was also sentenced to two months in jail in Belgium for incitement to hatred over anti-Semitic comments during a show in that country.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)




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