Canada

No jail time in B.C. casino licence scandal

B.C. man convicted of offering ex-premier Clark a benefit to try to get a casino licence won't go to jail.

The man convicted of offering former B.C. premier Glen Clark a benefit to try to get a casino licence has been ordered to perform community service.

Dimitrios Pilarinos was sentenced Friday to two years less a day of "house arrest" which means he won't be able to leave his residence at night.

The Crown had asked for a "substantial period of incarceration" because he tried to abuse his relationship with the province's highest elected official.

But the judge said Pilarinos has already paid a high personal price, losing his house and family since being arrested two years ago.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Bennett also said Pilarinos is not a danger to the public.

As part of his sentence, he must also perform 240 hours of community service.

The businessman, now unemployed and living with relatives, was convicted this summer of several charges, including fraud and influence peddling.

Pilarinos was charged with Clark in the fall of 2000. In August, the former premier was found not guilty of any wrongdoing.

Clark had been accused of receiving free home and cottage renovations from Pilarinos a neighbour. Bennett said the former premier exercised poor judgment by hiring a friend who had an application for a casino licence before the government. But Clark did not break the law, she said.

The judge convicted Pilarinos, even though she said there was virtually no evidence that he actually persuaded any government officials to approve the casino application. His temporary licence was later cancelled.

In her ruling in August, Bennett said it was clear that Pilarinos "pretended to have influence to affect a casino decision" because of his ties with Clark.