Ex-president of Sturm Graz jailed for tax fraud


GRAZ, Austria (AP) -- The former president of Austrian club Sturm Graz was sentenced Friday to five years in prison and fined 6.6 million euros ($8.68 million) for embezzlement and tax evasion while running the club from 1992-06.

Hannes Kartnig was found guilty of fraud by a regional court, which sentenced seven other former club officials to conditional imprisonment and fines varying from 1.3 million to 3.8 million euros ($1.71 million to $5 million), the Austria Press Agency reported.

Kartnig was arrested in May 2007 and released on bail after 2.2 million euros ($2.9 million) went missing at the club between 1998 and 2005.

Both Kartnig and the prosecution appealed the verdict.

Under Kartnig, Sturm Graz won two national titles and reached the second round of the Champions League in 2000-01.