Stradivarius instrument dealer charged with fraud

Posted on: June 7, 2012

Tuesday’s (6/5) Austrian Independent reports, “Austrian prosecutors have filed charges against the world’s leading expert on Stradivari who lived in a castle and had a fleet of luxury cars including two Rolls-Royces with what is believed to be the world’s biggest ever musical fraud.” Dietmar Machold, 62, was so well regarded “that a German bank loaned him millions of pounds when he provided them with two almost worthless violins and a certificate he had signed himself in which he claimed they were both genuine Stradivari. When the German bank decided at a later stage to get a second opinion they were shocked to find that the two violins worth little more than 3000 GBP in total. They filed for a return of the money and Vienna court and Machold’s empire began to unravel. … He fled Castle Eichbüchl at Katzelsdorf in Austria to Switzerland after the German bank case caused him to file for bankruptcy, and he was arrested there in 2011 and extradited back to Austria in January of this year where he currently sits in a jail in Vienna. … Also charged are his former business partner and two others not yet named. Prosecutors say that more charges are pending and the case could take place this summer and result in Machold being jailed for up to 10 years.”

Posted June 7, 2012