SGAE contractor firm erased over one million euros from books

High court judge sets bail at 300,000 euros for alleged mastermind of copyright-collecting fraud

F. M. / M. C. B. / M. A. Madrid 5 JUL 2011 - 13:53 CET

A company allegedly used to divert large amounts of money from the copyright collecting group SGAE deleted over one million from its public account books - money that it received from SGAE in 2005, as its private accounts show. Microgénesis was controlled by Luis Rodríguez Neri, a top SGAE executive who contracted work out to this small consulting and IT firm.

In 2005 Microgénesis received five million euros from SDAE, a digital copyright agency 100-percent owned by SGAE and managed by Neri, but the company only declared 3.7 million in its tax report.

A High Court judge took statements from Neri for four-and-a-half hours on Monday, three days after an extensive police raid against SGAE headquarters that resulted in nine arrests, including the agency's president, Eduardo Teddy Bautista.

Judge Pablo Ruz ordered that Neri be remanded in custody with bail set at 300,000 euros. Bautista had already been released without bail after giving testimony in the High Court at the weekend.

The operation was triggered by a 2007 complaint against SGAE by restaurant and computer store owners. SGAE has been consistently under fire in recent years for its aggressive collection practices.

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