Leading Stradivari dealer sent to prison for fraud

Associated Press

VIENNA (AP) — A Vienna court has sentenced a leading dealer in Stradivarius violins and other rare stringed instruments to six years in prison after finding him guilty of fraud and embezzlement in a multi-million dollar scheme.

The court found Dieter Machold guilty of using instruments he was supposed to sell on behalf of clients to instead secure bank credits financing his business and private life.

Machold declared bankruptcy two years ago. Newspaper reports have put his debts between 80 million euros and 150 million euros ($102-191 million.)

State broadcaster ORF said Machold, a German citizen, acknowledged his guilt before sentencing Friday, quoting him as saying: "There is nothing to quibble about, and I am going to be punished."

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