Arts benefactor Alberto Vilar was found guilty of swindling investors out of millions today. Among other things, Vilar’s conviction takes another source of money away from cultural institutions he supported.
AP via LA Times: Opera-loving philanthropist Alberto Vilar was convicted on fraud charges today for swindling investors, including the mother of actress Phoebe Cates, out of millions of dollars.
Federal prosecutors accused Vilar and a business partner of falsely telling investors their money would be safe. Instead, the men poured millions of dollars into risky technology stocks that later crashed, prosecutors said…
The verdict represented a spectacular fall for Vilar, who gave away millions of dollars to cultural institutions and opera houses. Just months after his May 2005 arrest, London’s Royal Opera House said it had removed his name from the building’s atrium after he failed to honour a pledge.
Vilar became wealthy by handling money for others through his San Francisco-based investment company, Amerindo Investment Advisors Inc., which he started in 1980. Forbes magazine said Vilar was worth $950 million before the collapse in technology stocks.
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