from the sexpensive dept
When you write about as many different people, groups and organizations as we do here at Techdirt, you occasionally forget to check in on some places and people occasionally. Take SGAE, for instance. It's the Spanish music collection group that has made a name for itself chiefly stealing money from artists, epitomizing corruption, and generally behaving like pain-in-the-butt asshats whenever given the opportunity. We haven't checked on SGAE in about three years or so, so I assume the group has completely turned itself around and are now a shining example of above-board behavior?
Pedro Farré, the former head of corporate relations at the Spanish Society of Authors and Publishers (SGAE) was handed a 30-month sentence after the National Court found him guilty of embezzlement and faking work-related documents. The judge said Farré had withdrawn cash during his jaunts to brothels, and then created "completely false" receipts, supposedly for services such as "catering" for SGAE clients which he later handed in to his employer's accounting office to claim the money back. These were submitted alongside genuine receipts to avoid arousing suspicion, the court heard.Look, let's give some credit where credit is due: it takes a supreme set of testicles to turn in $50k worth of receipts for money spent at whorehouses and try to write them off for reimbursement. On the other hand, I don't think it disqualifies Pedro from the corruption championships, either. And let's keep in mind that money fraudulently extracted as SGAE overhead for banging hookers is taking more money out of the hands of artists in a very real way. Why do these collection groups that represent artists always seem to have so much disdain for them at the same time?
Anyway, once caught, Pedro copped to what he'd done, came clean, and faced the music like a man. Nah, just kidding, he totally tried to make up another ridiculous, but hilarious, excuse.
[The judge] also slammed the copyright expert's claims he had visited the clubs to see if there were any rights issues in terms of the music being played there. During the trial, the former SGAE executive even argued he had been framed by a detective and journalist named Cervero who was unable to appear as a witness during the trial because of serious heart problems.But, your honor, I was only visiting the brothel to make sure none of them were playing unlicensed music to their whores. Not the most convincing argument, sir. Keep it classy SGAE.
The presiding judge, however, dismissed those claims as well.