Egyptian steel tycoon and powerful Mubarak-era politician sentenced to 37 years in prison

CAIRO – An Egyptian court has convicted a Hosni Mubarak-era steel tycoon of profiteering and squandering public funds, and sentenced him to 37 years in prison.

The court Wednesday found Ahmed Ezz guilty of making illicit gains of $740 million in a number of illegal business deals involving his steel firm. The court said Ezz was aided by a former industry minister, who received a one year prison term, with a stay of sentence.

Ezz is already serving a combined 17 years in prison in separate cases of graft and money laundering. He was arrested days after Mubarak’s regime was toppled in February 2011. A powerful regime insider, Ezz was a close associate of Mubarak’s son, who was believed to be being groomed to succeed the longtime Egyptian leader.