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 Post subject: Super Arts Benefactor Alberto Vilar Arrested for Fraud
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2005 1:47 am 
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First Enron. Now this:

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Amerindo's Vilar Charged With Stealing From Client

May 27 (Bloomberg) -- Alberto Vilar, the multimillionaire New York money manager and benefactor to the world's leading opera and ballet centers, was arrested last night and charged by U.S. authorities with stealing $5 million in client funds, which he used to pay bills and continue his philanthropy. more


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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2005 1:48 am 
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Hmm...

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Amerindo's Vilar to Return to Court on May 31 Seeking Release

May 28 (Bloomberg) -- Alberto Vilar, a multimillionaire New York money manager and arts benefactor charged with stealing client funds, has a chance next week to be freed from jail. more


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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2005 2:02 am 
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Is it just me or is the NY Times the only major paper not to carry this story...


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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2005 5:12 am 
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Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
You missed it, Azlan.

From the NY ("All the News that Fits, We Print") Times:

Quote:
Jail on Fraud Charge for Legendary Opera Patron

By DANIEL J. WAKIN
Published: May 28, 2005


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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2005 10:08 am 
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This presents a major headache for a number of arts organisations around the world, who already had a problem because of slow payments from Vilar.

The royal Opera House, London named the focal point of the rebuilt theatre the Vilar Floral Hall. I imagine that this woill be high on a number of agendas for some time to come, bearing in mind that Vilar and his associate have not been convicted of anything and given the amount of time thet fraud cases can take to be heard.

Here is an article from 10th April, 2005 about the situation at the ROH:

Tycoon fails to meet £22m opera pledge
By Richard Brooks for The Sunday Times


WHEN one of the world’s greatest opera benefactors agreed to donate £22.5m to the Royal Opera House, the directors were delighted. But now Alberto Vilar is being accused of failing to hand over all the cash.

Vilar, who is based in the United States and made his fortune investing in new technology companies, promised the cash to the Royal Opera House in 1999. The Vilar Floral Hall was subsequently named in his honour.

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2005 8:42 pm 
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Seems like the right time to invoke that quote from Balzac that Mario Puzo used as the prelude to "The Godfather."

Quote:
Behind every great fortune, there is a crime.

:lol:

I so hate to sound like a broken record, but if our muse-driven corporate Robin Hood offends you, do please join me as an unrepentant defender of full and unconditional government subsidy of the arts.


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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2005 9:18 pm 
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As to the Robin Hood reference, stealing from the extremely wealthy or the government is one thing. Stealing from the investments funds of ordinary people is another. But in either case, it's illegal.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2005 1:26 am 
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I guess we should all bear in mind that Vilar has been accused, but not convicted of any crime.

Following on Toba's comments, while I am a supporter of significant state subsidy of the arts, I do also believe there is a role for contributions from Trusts, individuals and corporates. My experience of a Scandinavian company which was some 95% state funded, indicated various shortcomings:

- remoteness from public wishes
- complacent dancers on civil service type contracts

Thus, a mixed economy for dance, along the lines we have in the UK, is my favored option.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2005 9:36 am 
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:oops: Quite right, Azlan. Nobody should steal from ordinary people's investment funds. Of course, most "ordinary" people have neither investment funds, nor the disposable income with which to purchase ballet tickets. So my guess is that the alleged Robin Hood mostly put a hurting on extraordinary people. After all, "ordinary" people get robbed legally every day--by their landlords, banks, at the pump, by the pharmaceutical companies, etc., and nobody takes those robber barons to court for embezzlement. :shock: I'm thinking several extraordinary people are involved in moving against Vilar's alleged misappropriations. Still, it's gratifying to hear about a criminal who doesn't pocket what he has allegedly stolen and whose heart is in the right place. Maybe there's a story ballet in this...
"V(H)ilarion: The Avenger." :twisted:


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2005 11:50 am 
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Time will tell whether or not the allegations stick. Regardless, iI am a little surprised at the LACK of support from the arts community. How many tens of millions of dollars has he contributed? Even if most of this was technology "bubble" money, he could have just kept it.

Granted, we are talking about millions here, but I think only those who haven't overextended there promises cast the first bubble :lol: !


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2005 2:04 am 
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ROH gives Vilar 60-day payment deadline
By Nuala Calvi for The Stage


Multimillionaire Alberto Vilar has been given 60 days to come up with the remainder of a £10 million pledge made to the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.

The philanthropist has only paid £4.4 million of the amount promised towards the ROH’s development appeal in 1999. The Floral Hall at the centre of the opera house was named after Vilar as a result of the pledge but managers have not yet decided whether it will be renamed in the event of the money not being paid.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 11:29 am 
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This can't come as a great shock to the current ballet world. This latest scandal just recapitulates a kind of atavistic behavior orginating with the courts of the royal plunderers of Europe whence ballet was conceived. It certainly isn't the first time in modern dance history that scoundrels have been forced to be ballet benefactors. Consider this quote from Bruce Marks from an interview it was my pleasure to do with him in 2002:

"Toni [Lander] and I recreated the 1855 Bournonville ballet, Abdallah. It was performed before Bournonville left Vienna, during the Lucille Grahn period. All the variations end with pauses, and Bournonville was exiled for speaking in objection (while the King was in the audience) to the clapping, the screaming, and the commotion at the ends of variations. He was to have been jailed, but the sculptor, Torvaldson, intervened on his behalf, and begged that he not be sent to prison. So, instead he took a little sabbatical in Italy. Bournonville wrote Abdallah down because he was going to try to resell it.

“When I was at Royal Danish Ballet, I had a friend working at Sotheby's, and a scenario, the story of a ballet called Abdallah was found. We found it at Sotheby's with the help of a man named Fibica Canada, and paid $150 for it. I joked that some day Toni and I would stage it. Toni read the scenario to me, which was in French, and it was the Aladdin's Lamp story, only about a candlestick. I said something like, 'Those steps don't exist,' and was told 'Oh, but they DO,' by a man from the Royal [Danish] Ballet. I decided that I was going to find money to stage this production. Do you remember during the Lockheed scandal a few years ago that there was a big arms dealer named Kashoggi? He agreed to pay for it. Toni and I found the money! She got the score, asked Flemming Flindt to work on it, and it happened that at the time there was big interest in Bournonville in Chicago, where they were hosting an anniversary season. They wanted our Aladdin's Lamp ripoff!"


Quote:
If you've got skeletons in your closet, you'd best teach them to dance!

George Bernard Shaw


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 12:01 pm 
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In the new double issue (Feb 13 & 20) of The New Yorker, there is a 15 page expose on how Alberto Vilar ended up in jail. Interesting reading; unfortunately, not on the magazine's website.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 1:03 pm 
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Tough talk from Forbes on Alberto Vilar's net worth or lack thereof:

http://www.forbes.com/free_forbes/2005/1010/060a.html

And news of additional charges:

Philanthropist Vilar faces additional charges
From Reuters

A federal grand jury on Tuesday indicted once-high flying philanthropist and technology investor Alberto Vilar and his alleged co-conspirator with new criminal charges.

A grand jury indicted Vilar, 65, and Gary Tanaka, 62, the co-founders of Amerindo Advisors Inc., on twelve counts, including a new count of securities fraud and a new count of making a false statement in a superseding indictment filed in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

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