Berlusconi Gets 4-Year Sentence for Tax Fraud

This could put a dent in Berlusconi's "bunga bunga" parties

This could put a serious dent in Silvio Berlusconi's "bunga bunga" parties.

Getty ImagesThe former Italian prime minister and media tycoon was found guilty Friday of tax fraud and sentenced to four years behind bars, according to the Wall Street Journal.

He was convicted of creating an illegal slush fund with money used to buy U.S. film rights. The complicated transaction was supposed to allow his broadcasting company, Mediaset, to pay lower taxes.

The sentence may close an ignominious chapter for the colorful Berlusconi. For nearly two decades, the billionaire businessman cast a long shadow over Italian politics. He was the longest serving post-war Prime Minister of Italy, but resigned in November 2011 after a series of sex scandals weakened his leadership and cost him his majority in parliament.

Berlusconi is currently ensnared in another trial, this one involving charges that he paid to have sex with underage woman.