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The Tokyo District Court, ruling on a 15-year-old bribery scandal that led to the downfall of a prime minister and touched deep into the bureaucracy, gave a suspended sentence Tuesday to Hiromasa Ezoe, founder and former chairman of information conglomerate Recruit Co.

The court ruled that Ezoe bribed politicians, public officials and businessmen alike by selling them pre-flotation shares of real estate subsidiary Recruit Cosmos Co., as the shares were certain to rise in value when the firm went public.

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