Argentine ex-official sentenced in money scandal at convent
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Argentine ex-official sentenced in money scandal at convent

FILE - In this June 14, 2016 file photo, former Public Works Secretary Jose Lopez, center, is escort by police outside the a police station in the outskirts of Buenos Aires, Argentina. A court in Argentina sentenced Lopez on Wednesday, June 12, 2019, to 6 years in prison for illicit enrichment after he tried to hide millions of dollars in cash at a convent. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko, File)

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — A court in Argentina has sentenced a former government official to 6 years in prison for illicit enrichment after he tried to hide millions of dollars in cash at a convent.

Former public works secretary José López was arrested in 2016 when he was trying to stash bags full of nearly $9 million and about 150,000 euros at the convent in the outskirts of Buenos Aires.

The case became a symbol of Argentina’s entrenched corruption.

The court said Wednesday the money will be donated to two children’s hospitals and ordered López to be barred from holding public office for life.

Lopez served during President Néstor Kirchner’s 2003-2007 administration and during the presidency of Kirchner’s wife and successor, Cristina Fernández in 2007-2015.

He says he has committed no wrongdoing.

The Associated Press

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