French comedian known for anti-Semitic jokes guilty of fraud


FILE – In this Feb.4, 2015 file photo, French comedian Dieudonne M’Bala M’Bala gestures to the media as he leaves a Paris court house. A French court has convicted Friday July 5, 2019 controversial comedian Dieudonne M’Bala M’Bala, found guilty in the past of anti-Semitism, on fraud and money laundering charges, and sentenced him to two years in prison. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)

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PARIS (AP) — A French court has convicted controversial comedian Dieudonne on fraud and money laundering charges and sentenced him to two years in prison.

Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, who has previously been found guilty of anti-Semitism, was not present for Friday’s verdict and sentencing to three years in prison, with one year suspended.

He is expected to appeal.

Dieudonne periodically surfaces in the media, most notably for an arm gesture he calls the “quenelle” which appears to mimic an inverted Nazi salute. He claims it’s an anti-establishment symbol.

The French press said Dieudonne was convicted of various kinds of fraud between 2009 and 2014 including diverting cash receipts from his production company.

In April, a court sentenced extreme-right Frenchman Alain Soral to a year in prison for denying the Holocaust.

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