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A new Machold article appeared in Mondays “Der Standard“in Vienna. For months up untill now, I have always translated them into English and posted them in the Machold thread, so that all of those who are interested and don’t understand German can stay up-to-date with any developments. The Machold thread has however, for reasons unknown to me and despite nobody having become abusive, been “locked”, although it is a narrative that isn’t by any means finished and promises to get interesting as soon as the contentious details become resolved. I sent my translation to the Strad magazine on Monday, as an alternative, but they appear to have worries about copyright issues.

All of my translations up to now have been just that – translations – no more, no less, and aren’t in anyway remotely expressions of opinion on my part, even should I have an opinion. This one however seems to have been written in a dreadful hurry, and I have had to edit in the word “unwitting”, since it doesn’t make sense otherwise, either in German or English. The article was also criticized by an Austrian blogger, because of a double negative, which has since been edited.

Should anyone wish to consult the old, now “Locked” thread, to make sense of the whole narrative, the link is:

http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=323309

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http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=323309&pid=538622&st=400entry538622

There was a new Machold story from Frau Grabner in Mondays Standard:

http://derstandard.at/1334797151348/Ein-Haefn-voller-Geigen-Streichinstrumentehaendler-Machold-bleibt-in-U-Haft

A nick full of fiddles

Stringed instrument dealer Machold remains in custody

Renate Graber, 6th May 2012

Application to end custody denied

Vienna Violin dealer, Dietmar Machold, against whom the Judiciary are investigating for alleged fraud and insolvency irregularities, is to remain remanded in custody. The court rejected his application for release. The public prosecutor is waiting for the report of the court appointed book keeping expert, Gerd Konezny, after which charges will be finalised.

The violin dealer, who partly admits some of the accusations, and who is innocent until proved guilty, was arrested in Switzerland in 2011 and extradited. He is accused of buying and selling the most valuable violins with unwitting 3rd parties money, his firms are broke and many instruments are still being searched for, notably by the banks that provided the finance and by the collection of the Austrian National Bank.

In his application for release from custody Machold explains why he, when things were getting fraught at the beginning of 2011, moved to Switzerland. In February 2011 he found himself confronted with mounting marital problems and was quite sure that he would, in the course of his insolvency, loose his home (Castle Eichbühl) in Lower Austria. It seemed logical to move to Switzerland, where he had the use of an apartment.

Lots of Cash

His method of business is demonstrated in a letter that Machold recently wrote to the court appointed bookkeeping expert, who was struggling to account for 550.000 Euros. Machold I always kept a large amount of cash in Eichbühl for payments independent of Banks, rarely for purchases but mostly for paying commissions. Occasionally this cash reserve was used to fill holes, i.e. top up overdrawn accounts.

The commissions were, according to the ex-dealer, in the region of 15 to 20 percent of the final sales price. He paid, in particular, his go-between man, an internationally renowned foreign conductor. These commissions were paid mostly by post-dated cheque, split into smaller amounts over a longer time period, or, when required, in cash.

Sometimes he satisfied his conductors cut with objects; part of these commissions were paid for with less expensive violins and several cars, since Machold, (who also dealt with cars) ascertains, without paying commissions, it isnt possible to sell violins (Renate Graber, DER STANDARD, 7.5.2012)

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Thank you for keeping us all posted on this Jacob. It's a fascinating story.

Perhaps not entirely irrelevant: I've forgotten the details, but Switzerland is purportedly a good place for a financially savvy man to live when lining himself up for divorce proceedings. A few years ago, I read about a rock musician who moved there for exactly that purpose in the 80's. He did in fact benefit greatly by doing so. As I said, I don't remember the details, however I may be able to look it up if there is any interest.

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Thanks Jakob,

Yes, the German article does have a somewhat "unique" style, which makes it a challenge. I'm sure it wouldn't be accepted for the FAZ.

Rob

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Another story;

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/the-case-of-disgraced-stradivari-dealer-dietmar-machold-a-832274.html

It will be interesting to know how the "internationally renowned foreign conductor" may be drawn into the fray.

It is perhaps worth pointing out that the “spiegel” article is largely superficial rubbish, which gets much mixed up. The “interview” with Roger, for instance, didn`t happen and is simply a recycled rant from a couple of years ago. The other quotes, feigning interviews, are in fact just lifted from the process files and taken out of context.

PS. He got Rogers age wrong too, in reality he`s much older :lol:

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Thanks to Jacob for translating the numerous German language articles and keeping us abreast of developments.

Has there been any indications whether the Austrian authorities are pursuing disgorgement (perhaps regarding the conductor mentioned in derstandard.at article)? Or is another "bankruptcy" on the way? :)

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Another story;

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/the-case-of-disgraced-stradivari-dealer-dietmar-machold-a-832274.html

It will be interesting to know how the "internationally renowned foreign conductor" may be drawn into the fray.

I know exactly who the international conductor is and so do the Austrian police. He has been a Machold pawn (albeit a wealthy pawn) since the 1980's, and he has made a truly massive amount of money with M dealings. What amazes me in this whole business is where the various tax authorities are? The German, US, Austrian (Dutch?), and Swiss tax people appear to have been sleeping. (Perhaps they should be reading this web site). They do not seem to have asked any serious questions about how M financed such a lifestyle. Perhaps now they will look into the claims by M that he could not avoid paying commissions of 15% to 20%. Did he pay such commissions to the various Banks that bought his instruments, or to this mysterious "internationally renowned foreign conductor"? If so did whoever received these commissions declare them for tax purposes? And if he was paying 20% commissions on multi-million deals, 550,000 euros does not seem very much. And if this were the case, my question would be where did the rest come from and where did it go?

My guess is that even if only a tenth of what has happened comes out, there is still way more in this saga. So far no mention has been made of the possibility that M was also dealing on a large scale in unregistered sales. If this were so, and if he also diddled those investors, then the known dept may only be the tip of the masthead of an enormous shipload of sunken treasure.

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I know exactly who the international conductor is and so do the Austrian police. He has been a Machold pawn (albeit a wealthy pawn) since the 1980's, and he has made a truly massive amount of money with M dealings. What amazes me in this whole business is where the various tax authorities are? The German, US, Austrian (Dutch?), and Swiss tax people appear to have been sleeping. (Perhaps they should be reading this web site). They do not seem to have asked any serious questions about how M financed such a lifestyle. Perhaps now they will look into the claims by M that he could not avoid paying commissions of 15% to 20%. Did he pay such commissions to the various Banks that bought his instruments, or to this mysterious "internationally renowned foreign conductor"? If so did whoever received these commissions declare them for tax purposes? And if he was paying 20% commissions on multi-million deals, 550,000 euros does not seem very much. And if this were the case, my question would be where did the rest come from and where did it go?

My guess is that even if only a tenth of what has happened comes out, there is still way more in this saga. So far no mention has been made of the possibility that M was also dealing on a large scale in unregistered sales. If this were so, and if he also diddled those investors, then the known dept may only be the tip of the masthead of an enormous shipload of sunken treasure.

I believe you are exactly right about this being the tip of a very long and tangled mess. Additionally, I imagine the "conductor in question" will soon have questions to answer from his orchestras board of directors.....and perhaps others.

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New article in the Wall Street Journal: POSTMODERN TIMES May 17, 2012, 6:18 p.m. ET Collectors Intoxicated by Luxury Labels Are Played for Fools.

But they are all still missing the dark entrance to this murky underworld cavern.

PS Why has there been no explanation about the blocking of this Machold thread? It is probably the most important subject on this entire site. Especially for musicians some of whom have lost their entire life's savings.

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I would not be surprised if the Maestronet web site administrator had received some legal request not to pursue this topic since there is a legal action going on.

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Why people think the price tag is proportionally related to quality of a violin. Quality is a concept thing. You like it or you like it a lot.

Most people would like to play a decent violin and while he or she can afford, the choices are more. I do not see why anyone pay that much money

for a violin. After you are at a certain level of skill, better violins would not help. I would be more proud of my playing skill than the price tag of my violin.

Like a kid wearing new dress in school, it is not such big deal.

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I would not be surprised if the Maestronet web site administrator had received some legal request not to pursue this topic since there is a legal action going on.

Hmmm.. you can't legally deny people to discuss a certain matter just because it is subject to investigation or a trial can you? (Taking for granted you are not a subject to North Korean legislation or something similar). But of course a private company or a person might find that certain discussions are not in their interest, and choose not to encourage its continuation... and MN is after all a private company offering this website and they may choose to do whatever they want to with it. Out on the street we can discuss this exactly as much as we want. Anyone for a beer? B)

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the moderator locked the "whats on your bench" thread for the same reason, it had gone on too long, no conspiracy, just restart the thread (the on your bench thread has been restarted three times now), if he was trying to block content he would have already blocked this thread

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the moderator locked the "whats on your bench" thread for the same reason, it had gone on too long, no conspiracy, just restart the thread (the on your bench thread has been restarted three times now), if he was trying to block content he would have already blocked this thread

Oh yeah? And why then, following your line of logic, hasn't the "plate tuning" thread been locked also, being on its fourteenth page or something now? And if I WANT to see a conspiracy, I can see one, you bet! (And in addition, there might be other very valid reasons for locking up a thread about "plate tuning" but that is another debate, of course).

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Oh yeah? And why then, following your line of logic, hasn't the "plate tuning" thread been locked also, being on its fourteenth page or something now? And if I WANT to see a conspiracy, I can see one, you bet! (And in addition, there might be other very valid reasons for locking up a thread about "plate tuning" but that is another debate, of course).

Just amazing. Magnus, are you really suggesting I am a responsible for some conspiracy or have I misunderstood your post?

For the record, 14 pages isn't 21 (which the Machold thread reached), but I still may close the plate tuning thread if it gets too ungainly.

Not just for Magnus:

Here is a link to my response to this issue, posted at 9:45 AM, which was elicited on yet another thread:

Link: Why was the Machold thread closed?

After moderating the board for over a decade, I don't think I need to defend my motives... and after this and a couple previous rounds on other subjects, I just may choose not to in the future.

Rather than dispel conspiracy theories, chase trolls, remind members they have manners they can employ and delete spam, I'd rather use what limited time I have to participate in discussions in which I feel I have something to offer.

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Just amazing. Magnus, are you really suggesting I am a responsible for some conspiracy or have I misunderstood your post?

You have indeed misunderstood, but my sometimes excessive use of irony was probably particularly undue in this case. I happen to find conspiracy theories very amusing, but the parody was probably too close to the real thing, sorry about that. M

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You have indeed misunderstood, but my sometimes excessive use of irony was probably particularly undue in this case. I happen to find conspiracy theories very amusing, but the parody was probably too close to the real thing, sorry about that. M

Thanks Magnus. I wondered if I'd misunderstood. Honestly didn't "sound" like you. Your irony was just too sophisticated. :)

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There is a new M. article in tomorrows “Der Standard” with the title:

“Nicht alles, was geigt, ist eine Stradivari“

(Not everything that fiddles is a Stradivari)

http://derstandard.at/1336697733424/Instrumentenauktion-Nicht-alles-was-geigt-ist-eine-Stradivari

I will post a translation shortly, as soon as I’m finished.

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A new M. article in tomorrows “Der Standard”

http://derstandard.at/1336697733424/Instrumentenauktion-Nicht-alles-was-geigt-ist-eine-Stradivari

INSTRUMENT AUCTIONS

Not everything that fiddles is a Stradivari

RENATE GRABER, 23. Mai 2012, 17:30

Thin proceeds at auction of supposed valuable instruments

Vienna – The Stradivari – case, which in the meantime has attracted interest from other mediums such as „Spiegel“ or „Wall Street Journal“ is keeping both the criminal as well as civil courts on their toes. Violin dealer Dietmar Machold financed the instruments with bank credits and (partly) multiply pledged his assets. He and his firms are broke. The former lord of the castle is remanded in custody and pleads partly guilty. (He is innocent until proved guilty)

Today (Thursday), the creditors committee in his insolvency case meets. The insolvency administrator, Jörg Beirer, is now considering legal action against his son; who apparently has been dealing with his fathers instruments. His Attorney, Irina Schiffer denies this charge, „that is not true“.

The insolvency administrator of the „private“ Machold (insolvency administrator of his Viennese firm is Wolfgang Herzer, son of the former cellist in the Vienna Philharmonic), has already sold several objects.

Castle Eichbüchl, in lower Austria for instance went for 3,5 Million Euros, although 2,6 million of that went straight to the Wiener Neustadt Savings bank, who had provided the mortgage. By the sale of some violins one was able to come to some interesting insights about violin values.

The search goes on

Just one example: The violin soloist, Alexandra Soumm played for years on an Omobono Stradivari, made in 1735, lent by Machold and, in his estimation, worth between one and two million Euros. As a result of a piece here in “Der Standard”, about a worldwide search for Machold’s violins, Soumm returned the violin to the insolvency administrator, who had it valued at Sotheby’s. In the appraisal of their expert the former super-Stradivari became an anonymous “north Italian violin from 1700, with a value of 14.000 to 21.700 Euros”. The violin was sent to auction together with two other violins; net proceeds, around 27,300 Euros.

The search for saleable violins goes on unabated. In January 2011 in his Bremen shop, about 100 violins were found, as can be read in the court act. The creditors in the Viennese insolvency proceedings have however precious little benefit from these. The violins weren’t confiscated, but fetched in April 2011 from a German bank, which had a business relationship with Machold.

Re Banks: They are now fighting each other. UniCredit Germany, for instance, have sued the Austrian National Bank. Both banks consider themselves to own one and the same instrument. (Renate Graber, 23.5.2012)

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Today (Thursday), the creditors committee in his insolvency case meets. The insolvency administrator, Jörg Beirer, is now considering legal action against his son; who apparently has been dealing with his fathers instruments. His Attorney, Irina Schiffer denies this charge, „that is not true“.

How sad that Machold's son might also become involved in this. One can safely guess that the son would not be involved if not for the father. I can't imagine a greater burden on a father than knowing that your children might be punished because of you.

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How sad that Machold's son might also become involved in this. One can safely guess that the son would not be involved if not for the father. I can't imagine a greater burden on a father than knowing that your children might be punished because of you.

Quite, how sad in several respects. The issue “dealing with his father’s instruments” is what is called “Krida” here, which I have up to now, for want of a better English expression, translated as “insolvency irregularities”. This means that any remaining objects of any value in an insolvency procedure rightfully belong to the entire creditor community, so that selling any secretly would defraud all creditors.

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