Breast implant scandal firm founder jailed

The founder of a French firm whose faulty breast implants sparked a global health scare was sentenced to four years in jail after being convicted of fraud.

Jean-Claude Mas, the founder of Poly Implant Prothese, leaves the Marseille courthouse. Pic: AP Photo/Claude Paris

Four other former executives of the now-defunct Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) were also convicted over a scandal that reverberated around the world.

PIP was revealed two years ago to have been systematically using industrial-grade rather than medically-approved silicone in its breast implants in order to cut costs and boost profits.

The court sentenced PIP founder Jean-Claude Mas to four years in prison, fined him €75,000 and banned him permanently from working in medical services or running a company.

The 74-year-old, who says he is insolvent, was also ordered to compensate more than 4,000 plaintiffs up to €13,000 each for the anxiety he had caused them and, in some cases, the physical trauma of having the implants removed.

Mas, who was dubbed “the sorcerer’s apprentice of implants” by prosecutors, did not react as the verdict was read out in court.

His lawyer, Yves Haddad, blamed the severity of the sentence on media-generated pressure and said he would appeal, a move which will keep Mas out of prison pending the outcome of a further hearing.

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