Austrian Ticket Fraud

The fraud investigation into Wolfgang Klinger and Heimo Hanserl from Rock & More has spread beyond the bankrupt Austrian promoting company and involves the head of the country’s leading ticket agency.

Magister Gerhard Jarosch from the Vienna state prosecutor’s office has confirmed to Pollstar that Österreich Ticket chief exec Andi Egger was also interviewed by police.

Former Rock & More Beteilegungs (Rock & More 2) managing director Chris Dorrer and former Rock & More Veranstaltungs Gm chief exec Manfred Trojer are among the 10 people said to be under scrutiny.

Trojer succeeded Hanserl as chief exec of Rock & More Veranstaltungs (Rock & More 1) August 12, 2006. The company name was changed to MT Veranstaltungs GmbH before it filed for insolvency at the Vienna bankruptcy court October 27.

At the time, Klinger said the name was changed because the old company was sold – apparently only weeks before it went bust – and the new owner was responsible for the financial problems.

Dr. Susi Pariasek of Vienna-based Pariasek Holper, the bankruptcy lawyer responsible for wrapping up R&M 1, said it appears that Hanserl – with Klinger as consultant – ditched the old company when it was becoming clear that it was in trouble.

She set out to show that the new company was responsible for some of the old one’s debts, but was forced to give up on that when the new company also went bust at the beginning of this year.

Magister Jarosch said that everyone involved with a company suspected of "white collar crime" is likely to be questioned at the beginning of an investigation by the police’s "economic department." He said sifting through all the paperwork involved could take months.

"Everybody who has been in any company combination with Klinger in the last 20 years or so has been questioned and is under investigation, no matter in which connection," Egger told Pollstar, confirming the scope of the state prosecutor’s inquiry.

Last May, when Rock & More 2 was coming under such close scrutiny from Pariasek that it appeared she may try to seize the box office takings for its shows, Egger was involved in behind-the-scenes talks with the view to them being taken over by Dieter Semmelmann from Germany-based Semmel Concerts.

Semmel and Österreich Ticket are both co-owned by German ticketing giant CTS Eventim, although the talks appeared to come to nothing as Pariasek admitted she didn’t have the legal power to seize funds in that way.

The current Rock & More investigation began last December when an anonymous informant supplied information to the police.

Klinger confirmed that he and his lawyer attended police interviews during the first and second stages of the pre-trial inquiry, the last one on April 18th. He says he’s done nothing wrong and doesn’t expect to face charges for fraud or anything else.

It wasn’t possible to get comment from Hanserl, Dorrer or Trojer at press time.