Ex-Guinea international Ismael Bangoura has been given a six-month suspended jail sentence and fined more than 130,000 euros after being convicted of fraud by a court in Le Mans, France on Friday.
The court also ordered that Bangoura’s house in Sarthe in France should be seized.
Bangoura who plays for Saudi Arabia top flight league Al Raed, was found guilty of illegally receiving unemployment benefits in France from March 2016 to March 2018, amounting to 141,000 euros.
The 33-year old was reported to have registered with Pôle employ, (The French labour authorities) when his contract with his previous club FC Nantes ended in March 2016, qualifying him to receive unemployment benefits.
Bangoura reportedly continued to receive the benefit after he moved to Saudi Arabia to join his current club in 2016.
The labour authorities filed a case against him in court in March, arguing that Bangoura had not informed them of his move to Saudi Arabia and claimed that he should not have been receiving unemployment benefits in France whilst being paid by his Saudi club at the same time.
In his defence, Bangoura’s lawyer Maître de la Taste claimed that his client was playing in Saudi Arabia on a voluntary basis as he had no Fifa approved contract.
Bangoura started his professional career in France with Gazelec Ajaccio and went on to play for three other French clubs Le Mans, Rennes and Nantes.
He also played in Ukraine for Dynamo Kiev, in UAE for Al Nasr and in Qatar for Umm Salal.
Bangoura made 52 appearances for Guinea, scoring 13 goals. He played in three Africa Cup of Nations and helped Guinea reach the quarter-finals in 2006 and 2008.
His last appearance for the Syli Nationale was against Uganda in November 2014 in a 2015 Nations Cup qualifier.
He ruled himself out for the finals in Equatorial Guinea to concentrate on his club football with his then club FC Nantes.