A high court on Monday found the head of a nationalist school operator and his wife, who were at the center of a cronyism scandal linked to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, guilty of fraud charges related to public subsidies for the construction of an elementary school.

The Osaka High Court upheld a lower court decision that handed down a five-year prison term to Yasunori Kagoike, who assumed his post as chief of Moritomo Gakuen in March this year after stepping down in 2017. His wife Junko, meanwhile, was sentenced to two years and six months in prison.

In February 2020, the Osaka District Court ruled that 69-year-old Kagoike and his wife, 65, illegally received ¥56.44 million ($445,000) in central government subsidies between March 2016 and February 2017 by overcharging for the construction of an elementary school in Toyonaka, Osaka Prefecture, on land purchased from the government.