Hispania team owner Jose Ramon Carabante has been sentenced to three months in jail.
But the 59-year-old Spaniard will not actually serve time, according to reports including in the Marca sports newspaper.
He was, however, convicted of fraud surrounding the sale of land on which the promised construction of homes in 1997 and 1998 was not carried out.
The court in Cadiz, in southwestern Spain, also sentenced some other defendants whilst acquitting others.
At the time in question, Carabante was a director of the land developer, signing the contracts and managing the money.
Today, he is the major shareholder of his struggling Formula One team HRT, which is targeting tenth in the 2011 world championship and a step forward for its third season on the grid next year.
Team boss Colin Kolles revealed on Friday that an aerodynamic programme in one of Mercedes' wind tunnels will begin in July.
"We will switch very soon to the 2012 car," he said.