Tuesday, 28. April 2015
23. 01. 13. - 19:00
No-Problem Orchestra conductor Josef Schörkmayr who is accused of stealing almost half a million Euros from the organisation's account has been hgiven a 3.5 year jail term.
The No Problem-orchestra is an association which works with disabled people in providing music therapy.
Between 2000 and 2010, the orchestra performed worldwide in front of Hollywood stars such as Michael Douglas or the Pope – giving the handicapped youngsters their fame. It's during in the Golden Age of the association that the allegations take place.
In the opening statement, prosecution lawyer Sandra Agnoli spoke of excessive travel allowances, costly business trips, meals in luxurious hotels, costs for a lawn-mower, beauty treatments paid for with the association's account. In just one year (2006), 75 percent of all expenditure can be traced back to Schörkmayr. When questioned before the court in Klagenfurt (Carinthia), Schörkmayr assured having spent the association's money exclusively for the use of the children.
Judge Uwe Dumpelnik asked: "Who did the accounting?" Schörkmayr answered: "I did all of that." He erased traces of excessive spending and gave the receipts to the tax advisor, who was responsible for accounts closing. The judged ask the suspect: "And what did the accountant do? " He answered: "He looked at it and said: that's all okay."
The board of executives, made up of Schörkmayr, his wife and one representative only called for a general assembly every five years, instead of every year, as stipulated by statutes.
Schörkmayr had regularly made furtherances to the region (Carinthia) but had cut down in the last few years. Spokesperson Christian Ragger said that the region had asked for 100,000 to be paid in damages – every penny due will be paid back, he added.
Schörkmayr said that he planned to emigrate to America when he received an offer from the late regional governor Jörg Haider and created in 1990 the charitable organisation "No Problem" for the treatment of handicapped children through music. He has been the chair of the charity since day one.
The judge went through the court's list point by point. The lawn-mower, for instance, was bought in 2000 for the handicapped playground, Schörkmayr said. There were also bills for water rates at Schörkmayr's house in Grafenstein. The costs of setting up a sauna were also taken out of the account. He justified the food and alcohol bills by telling the court he often had up to 10 children stay at his house.
The board of directors – Schörkmayr and his wife, who didn't know about her function on the board until her questioning. This so-called board of directors then grants the expenditure – from gas and electricity bills to expensive German-made shoes and some 150 bottles of wine, which he claims the board of directors gave him as a birthday present. These bills were all reimbursed by the region of Carinthia – always presented in a bulk under the label "concert expenses" rather than on their own.
The suspect and his wife also decided in 2005 to award themselves 6,600 Euros a month for travel costs and expenses. He said: "Most of the time I didn't get it though, because there wasn't any money there. That's why I'm completely poverty-stricken." Poverty-stricken, yes - but with an annual salary of 39,000 Euros.
The third member of the board of directors told the police that Schörkmayr had taken all the decisions alone and that he had had no insight into the organisation's finances.
Schörkmayr also paid his social security contributions and life insurance with the "No-Problem"-account. He explained his reason before court: he is still owed 844,000 Euros. He hasn't received my monthly expenses or the rent for the keyboard he engineered. The organisation also paid for his children's phone bills. Schörkmayr said: "That was totally important – they worked for the charity." Speeding fines have also been paid for by "No Problem".
A witness said she has only been the association's secretary on paper and that she only found out about this when interrogated. Schörkmayr had wanted her on the board of directors, but she had told him that she couldn't and wouldn’t be able to work with him because of the distance. She has never taken part in a general meeting or been notified.
Her brother played in the orchestra and she had driven him there, which is how she got to know Schörkmayr. She also said the musicians and their parents had always been fed at Schörkmayr's house and never paid a penny.
Semmering Offers 50% Discount To Selected Heroes
The Magic Mountain Semmering will hold two Weeks of Heroes from 1st to 14th March as Panhans Holding Group says thank you to safety and well-being volunteers and professionals.
Skier Survived Almost Two Hours Buried Alive
A skier had a miracle escape after being buried under two metres of snow for nearly two hours during an avalanche in Austria, it was revealed last night.
Puppies Found Stuffed Inside Suitcase In Back Of Van
A litter of puppies destined for a dog farm was rescued after being found stuffed inside suitcases in the back of a van.
Kangaroo That Hopped It Spotted In Garden
Austrian police investigating reports of an escaped kangaroo have been given concrete proof after a local woman managed to photograph the animal in her back garden.
First Images Of Eurovision Stage
These are the first images of the design for the Eurovision Song Contest stage unveiled in the Austrian capital Vienna which is the home of last year's winner Conchita Wurst.
Russian Mafia Boss Nabbed At Vienna Railway Station
A Russian mobster wanted for a string of brutal murders was arrested in the gentile Austrian capital Vienna when commandos swooped as he went to buy a train ticket.
Teen Girls Arrested After Offering Themselves To IS Fighters
Austrian officials who recently cracked down on terrorism by arresting several people believed to be recruiting and fundraising for ISIS have revealed two more teenage girls tried to leave the country to marry terrorist fighters.
Ebola's deadly reach impacts Vienna student
Austria has yet to record its first case of Ebola, but the feared virus has already had a severe impact on the lives of Africans living in Vienna.
Grigorij Sokolov Works His Magic At Vienna Konzerthaus
Whilst the world-famous Wizard of Oz played at the Volksoper, there was another Wizard in the Konzerthaus giving his 16th performance in Vienna!
Penelope Cruz To Play The Ice Cream Killer
The memoirs of the woman dubbed the Ice Cream Killer after she shot dead two ex-lovers before hacking the bodies up with a chainsaw and telling neighbours the noise was a new ice cream machine are due to be turned into a blockbuster with Penelope Cruz playing the lead role.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|Cyclist Disfigured After Truck Door Opens|
|Teacher Beats Girl As Shocked Classmates Reduced To Tears|
|Six Legged Kid Dubbed Spider Goat|
|Father Dresses In Drag To Raise Money For Sick Son|
|Devoted Wife Pulls Blind Hubby Around With Bamboo Stick|
Why suffer in silence. Let off steam by letting our readers share your troubles. File your complaints about anything and everything here.
Our ombudsman David Rogers will try and help solve some of the problems from lazy civil servants through to incompetent companies – and at the very least the worst transgressors will end up in our weekly special report.