Austrian authorities have finally been able to extradite violin
dealer Dietmar Machold from Switzerland to face charges of serious
fraud, misappropriation and fraudulent insolvency. Thomas Vecsey, a
spokesperson for the Vienna public prosecutor's office, confirmed
that Machold was transported to Austria on 10 December but stressed
that investigations are still continuing.
Machold had been in custody in Switzerland since March of this year, when he was arrested in Zermatt. In July, Austrian investigators circulated a list of 17 instruments – including several Stradivari and Guarneri 'del Gesù' violins – and 4 violin bows that they wanted to recover in connection with the investigation. While Interpol and other law enforcement agencies have been hunting for missing violins worth millions of euros, Machold is being pursued by creditors, among them some of Austria's biggest banks, in civil insolvency claims of at least €80m.