Sunday, 21. December 2014
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.
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.
Kid Left In Coma After Beaten By Teacher For Talking
This is the shocking image of a little Chinese girl before and after she was punished by her teacher - for talking in class.
Freezing Rain Causes Chaos In Central Europe
Freezing weather has arrived in Europe with a vengeance with a layer of ice blanketing parts of Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic and causing traffic chaos.
Holey Smoke As Car Disappears Down Sinkhole
Motorist Wei Hsiao found himself in a hole lot of trouble in China when a giant sinkhole opened up on the road beneath him, swallowing his entire car.
Shock Moment Police Helicopter Explodes On Street
This is the moment a police helicopter exploded into a spinning ball of flame in Chile when a fire truck clipped one of its rotors.
More Than Twenty 100,000 GBP Motors Used In Bridal Convoy
A Chinese couple who wanted to have the most expensive wedding convoy possible arranged for a convoy of top of the range cars including a stretch Hummer followed by Lamborghinis, Porsches and other VIP motors.
Riot Police Star In Downs Syndrome Calendar
Spanish riot police have joined forces with Down's syndrome kids to take part in a special calendar for charity.
Chinese Nuclear Winter Smog Leaves Clinics Full
Fresh proof of Chinese scientists' claims that the country's toxic air pollution resembles a nuclear winter are shown by these images that show clinics and hospitals packed with patients suffering with trouble breathing.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|UN Security Expert Says One Jihad Poster Girl Is Dead|
|Ebola's deadly reach impacts Vienna student|
|Russian Cops Beat Man To A Pulp In Front Of Children|
|Porsche Driver Crushed After Ploughing Into Lorry|
|Grigorij Sokolov Works His Magic At Vienna Konzerthaus|
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.