Dietmar Machold was sentenced today in Vienna to six years in prison, reports ORF. The former violin dealer, 63, was convicted of embezzlement and fraudulent bankruptcy after a trial that began in September and reconvened this past week. The sentence could still be appealed, however.
Machold could have received a sentence of up to ten years, but according to the ORF report, the judge took the dealer’s ‘comprehensive and penitent confession’ into consideration, among other factors.
The embezzlement conviction relates to rare violins that clients had entrusted to Machold for sale, and which he then either used as collateral for loans or sold and embezzled the proceeds.
A fraud charge regarding an incorrect valuation, based on which a loan was taken, could not be pursued at the trial because a co-defendant was too ill to give evidence.
Machold still faces civil insolvency claims for at least €80m from an array of creditors, including some of Austria’s biggest banks.