A year later, in 1998, a court convicted him of corruption and bribery, but those verdicts were overturned in 1999 and 2000.
In 2007, prosecutors accused him of judicial corruption over accusations he paid a lawyer $600,000 in exchange for favorable testimony in two court case. He was also accused of tax fraud and receipt of stolen goods involving the same lawyer.
A judge dismissed some tax fraud allegations and the stolen goods case in 1998; the corruption case ended in 2012 when a judge ruled the statute of limitations had run out.
He was convicted in 2012 on allegations that he had engaged in tax fraud involving Mediaset. Prosecutors accused Berlusconi of reducing Mediaset's tax liabilities by purchasing U.S. movie rights at inflated prices and then creating illegal slush funds.
He is currently appealing that conviction.
Sex scandals have also ensnared Berlusconi, whose wife filed for divorce in 2009 following reports of the then-prime minister's involvement with an 18-year-old girl.
Two years later, magistrates in Milan said they were investigating whether Berlusconi paid for sex with an underage prostitute named Ruby the Heartbreaker, then used his power to spring her from jail in an unrelated incident in which she was picked up for theft.
Berlusconi's trial on those charges began in 2011, shortly before he resigned from office.
Berlusconi has a vast business empire, including media holdings and construction companies. Forbes Magazine says he has a net worth of $6.2 billion.