Vilar Jailed On Fraud Charges

Legendary arts patron Alberto Vilar was arrested May 27th and charged with bilking a client of some $5 million, using the money “as a personal piggy bank” to pay his expenses and make charitable donations, according to prosecutors.

He remained in jail at press time as his representatives said he couldn’t raise $10 million bail.

In the meantime, Vilar and partner Gary Tanaka have been sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission in an effort to appoint a receiver to oversee their investment firm, Amerindo Investment Advisors, according to Bloomberg News.

Vilar, a Cuban immigrant who amassed a net worth of almost $1 billion, is accused in a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan with engaging in fraudulent, deceptive and manipulative business practices.

Last year, Vilar was listed by Forbes magazine as the 327th richest American. His net worth was listed at $950 million.

Vilar, according to the complaint, has made charitable contributions of more than $200 million to entities around the world. Those include Colorado’s Vilar Center For The Arts At Beaver Creek and the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheatre.

A part-time Colorado resident, Vilar still owes $1.5 million on a $3.5 million pledge to the Ford Amphitheatre in Vail.

He’s been a noted patron of the New York Metropolitan Opera, the Vienna Opera, the Royal Opera House in London, the Mozart Festival in Salzburg, Austria, and the Kirov Opera and Ballet in St. Petersburg, Russia.