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Buma/Stemra Reports 'Accounting Errors'

(VIP-NEWS) — In order to reduce costs, directors of Dutch copyright organization Buma/Stemra, have been creating fictitious "posts" in the accounts.

Buma/Stemra has been fraudulent for years with internal accounting. In 2015 and 2016, the management has put aside money to absorb any financial deficiencies for the copyright organization. This is evidenced by a large-scale investigation by law firm NautaDutilh.

On Monday, CEO Wim van Limpt shared the findings with employees, the Board of Supervisors and members of the organization (authors, composers and music publishers).

By the end of 2015, management would have put around six million euros into `extra pots`. Thus, they tried to keep the bookkeeping fit, for example, by moving accounts forward. In this way, the costs could be printed for a subsequent year.

Spokeswoman Frank Janssen confirms the findings. "These costs incurred, but they were not included in the bookkeeping, and were not always booked at the time that the costs were actually incurred. As an organization, Buma/Stemra can charge up to 15 percent of collected and paid amounts as management costs. "

As a result of the shift with cost items, management costs remained at or below that agreed percentage. "This made the budget fine" According to the spokesman, it is not known when accounting fraud began. NautaDutilh looked into the research only for the years 2015 and 2016. The law firm began the investigation in March of this year.

Wim van Limpt, who has led the Dutch collection society since 2016, has promised a package of reforms to make Buma/Stemra a more “market-oriented, viable and transparent organisation”, after law firm NautaDutilh discovered irregularities – including unacceptably high costs, amounting to a “failure to comply with accounting rules” – in its provisional 2016 accounts.