Ahmed Ezz, an Egyptian businessman and politician, has been sentenced to 37 years in jail and fined $296m for misusing public funds.
The penalty was the Egyptian court’s toughest yet for any businessman operating during deposed President Hosni Mubarak’s rule.
But strapped for cash, the Egyptian government is trying to settle many corruption cases out of court.
There are concerns, however, that deals spun secretly between authorities and businessmen have only yielded as little as $10m and that the process remains murky.
Al Jazeera’s Rawya Rageh reports from Cairo.