>At the end of the week, the Austrian news outlets reported that eight people have been formally accused in the criminal activities over at the Salzburg Easter Festival: former director Michael Dewitte and former technical director Klaus Kretschmer, both abruptly fired last month, were at the top of the list and accused of “grave professional deceit and betrayal”, Dewitte being singled out for paying out “illegal commissions in unknown amounts” between 2002 ans 2009. Also named are two lawyers who were working for Dewitte, two different tax advisers, Dewitte’s wife Ivette (who was on the payroll and no one can recall why), and his bookkeeper.
There is also the business with the Russian arts patron who donated 2.5 million euros to the Easter Festival in the hopes of getting Austrian citizenship in return (there is some business about “contributions to the country” as a way to obtaining citizenship, but I don’t think they had that in mind. Still, he’s not the first to have tried this, and he just might get it in the end.) According to recent reports, 300,000 of that was skimmed off and sent to Dewitte’s bank account in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, without anyone’s consent. I don’t know, stealing massive amounts of money is bad enough but I sure as hell wouldn’t want to piss off Russian millionaires. Seems it would be very bad for one’s health.
Update: Good lord, Alberto Vilar, “opera-loving philanthropist”, has been sentenced to nine years in prison:
U.S. District Judge Richard J. Sullivan also fined Vilar $25,000 and ordered him to pay $21.9 million in restitution and to forfeit more than $22 million.
Vilar, 69, has been imprisoned since soon after a jury convicted him in November 2008 of conspiracy fraud for cheating investors of $40 million through his San Francisco-based company, Amerindo Investment Advisors Inc