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What Did Hosni Mubarak Do With The Millions He Stole From Egypt’s Public Funds?

An Egyptian court found ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak guilty of stealing over $17 million in public funds. But some say it’s only the tip of the iceberg.

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Mansions, flashy cars, and lavish jewelry are just some of the luxury items on which Egypt's former first family enjoyed spending their vast wealth. On Wednesday, an Egyptian court found that at least some of that money came from Egypt's public funds, and fined the Mubarak family $2.98 million, in addition to repaying over $17 million.

"The court orders Mohamed Hosni Mubarak to be sent to jail for three years," said Judge Osama Shaheen as Mubarak looked on from a cage flanked by his sons, who were sentenced to four years in jail on the same charges.

An investigative report by Egypt's Mada Masr news site detailed how the funds were embezzled by the Mubarak family, who claimed the money was being used for maintenance of telecommunication centers, while spending it on their private residences.

The state's main witness for the case was Amr Khedr, a former military officer turned "presidential residences supervisor for architectural affairs," who turned over photocopies he had made over the years that showed original and forged receipts for the Mubaraks.

The report in Mada Masr details how Egypt's public funds were used to pay for the extravagant lifestyle of the Mubarak family. Hosni Mubarak's sons, Gamal and Alaa, spent millions renovating their personal villas, while his wife, Suzanne Mubarak, expensed a private office in City Stars Intercontinental hotel and mall. Jacuzzi pools in the Mubarak's Heliopolis residence, a roof elevator used to service a satellite dish, and a lavish mausoleum were among other items paid for by Egypt's citizens.

The Mubarak family can still appeal the court's decision. It remained unclear whether the three years that Mubarak and his sons have already served in jail would count as time served, or if Mubarak would return to the army hospital where he has been living in recent months rather than Tora prison.

Analysts in Egypt said that many of the country's powerful businessmen still supported the Mubarak family, and that they were likely to pull strings to make sure that much of the Mubarak's wealth remains intact.

Aladdin Elaasar, author of The Last Pharaoh: Mubarak and the Uncertain Future of Egypt in the Obama Age, said the Mubaraks own several residences in Egypt, some inherited from previous presidents and the monarchy, and others he has built. He estimates that the family's exact holdings range from $40–70 million, with the exact figure unknown as much of it remains tucked away in overseas accounts.

Egyptian bloggers have written that Mubarak owns a fleet of over 950 cars. While he has never been photographed in his official car, Egyptian papers reported that he favors a BMW 7 series.

Sheera Frenkel is a cybersecurity correspondent for BuzzFeed News based in San Francisco. She has reported from Israel, Egypt, Jordan and across the Middle East. Her secure PGP fingerprint is 4A53 A35C 06BE 5339 E9B6 D54E 73A6 0F6A E252 A50F

Contact Sheera Frenkel at sheera.frenkel@buzzfeed.com.

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