Judges in the Bucharest Tribunal sentenced SIF Oltenia Director Dinel Staicu and the former director of the International Bank of Religions (BIR), Ion Popescu, to 12 years in jail each on charges of abuse of authority and complicity to abuse of authority. The Bucharest District 4 Court of Law handed them a jail sentence of 4 year each, which the defendants appealed against. The appeal was tried in the Bucharest Tribunal, whose judge panel increased their sentences to 12 years. This sentence too is challengeable on appeal. According to the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA), during July 1999-February 2000, Ion Popescu along with two more BIR employees also sentenced in connection to the case approved, in defiance of bank regulations, over 106 bln Lei (10.6 M RON) worth of assignments of receivables and loans in excess of 80 bln Lei (8 M RON) to 11 enterprises controlled by Dinel Staicu, who illegally acquired those rights and used the money to the benefit of other enterprises he was in control of. Staicu used a portion of the BIR loans, nearly 40 bln Lei (4 M RON) to buy SIF Oltenia shares through some of the companies controlled by him.