Austrian Promoters Cleared Of Fraud

Rock & More promoters Wolfgang Klinger and Heimo Hanserl were both cleared of fraud in Vienna Criminal Court Sept. 23.

Judge Andreas Böhm did, however, find both guilty of the lesser charge of “gross negligence” in the running of Rock & More Beteiligungs GmbH (Rock & More 2), particularly in regard to paying national insurance contributions.

Klinger was given a five-month prison sentence suspended for three years and Hanserl was given three months suspended for three years. Neither appealed the verdict.

Klinger, who has insisted he is not guilty of fraud, declined to comment on the outcome of the case beyond saying his life in the music business has been “ruined.”

The trial was the result of a lengthy police inquiry that began when Vienna police received an anonymous tip in December 2007. It originally focused on 10 people, mainly from the Austrian music business, although six were subsequently cleared of any wrongdoing.

Of the remaining two, the case against former Rock & More Beteiligungs GmbH managing director Chris Dorrer will be dropped if he makes good on all the social insurance monies that were due when he had stewardship of the company.

A separate case against Manfred Leodalter, relating to the sector of the Austrian Promoters’ Group that he ran before that company tanked with debts of euro 2.5 million, may also be dropped.

Leodalter has told Pollstar that he is able to explain the situation to the court and at press time the Vienna state prosecutor’s office wasn’t able to confirm that he would even be asked to do that.