A special Central Bureau of Investigation court on Wednesday convicted 16 people in connection with a fodder scam case and sentenced them to three to four years in prison, PTI reported.

They were convicted of illegally withdrawing Rs 37 crore from the Chaibasa treasury in Jharkhand in the 1990s. Judge SN Mishra also ordered the convicts to pay fines ranging from Rs 25,000 to Rs 7 lakh. Eleven people were sentenced to three years in jail and five others to four years.

Rashtriya Janata Dal leader and former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav was among 44 people convicted in this case in 2013. Yadav was imprisoned in a Ranchi jail after he was convicted in three cases related to the multi-crore fodder scam. He faces more than 13 years in jail.

Defence counsel Sanjay Kumar said those awarded jail terms on Wednesday include former treasury messenger and technical assistant Lal Mohan Gope, ex-account assistant of the treasury Bharat Narayan Das and ex-assistant accountant of the treasury Sahadeo Prasad. Kumar said the rest were suppliers.

The fodder scam, exposed in 1996, involves the embezzlement of around Rs 1,000 crore from the state exchequer for the purchase of fictitious medicines and fodder for cattle in the early 1990s.