Argentine Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner was found guilty of corruption by a federal court on Tuesday in a case dating back to when she was president.
A three-judge panel sentenced Kirchner to six years in prison and a lifetime ban from holding political office.
Prosecutors say she worked with others to dodge nearly $1 billion through bogus contracts and the fictitious construction of 51 public works projects when she was president.
Kirchner served as Argentina’s president between 2007 and 2015 and orchestrated a political comeback in 2019, running for vice president along with Alberto Fernández.
Kirchner denies any wrongdoing and spoke out shortly after the verdict, saying she was the target of the judges, whom she called a mafia leading a parallel party determined to keep her out of office.
Kirchner will not be jailed while appealing the verdict, which could take years.
She is a polarizing figure in Argentina, seen by her loyal base as a champion of the poor. Others blame him for the country’s continuing economic problems, including inflation, which is expected to reach 100% by the end of the year.