Russian Rights Society Accused Of Embezzling Royalties

MOSCOW (CelebrityAccess) — Russian authorities have opened an investigation into Russian rights organization Russian Authors Society, or RAO, who have allegedly embezzled 500 million rubles, or approximately 7.4 million, in royalty fees.

The investigation is focused on the allegation that RAO diverted some of the royalty fees it had collected into real estate purchases that were then concealed in a shell company, according to a report by Russian business journal RBK.

RAO has acknowledged that the probe is underway and conceded that they acquired the properties in question, but said that they were legally sold earlier this year as the Russian economy soured.

The legal probe comes just weeks after a proposed merger between RAO and two other collecting societies was announced. The government responded with a proposal for reforms of the copyright royalty collection system, stating that there was a lack of transparency.

In a strange twist, Andrew Krichevsky, the deputy head of RAO was beaten by three unknown assailants in an attack in Moscow on August 15th. According to Russian news service TASS, Krichevsky had just attended a meeting on the formation of an artists union when he was attacked. The attack left him with broken ribs, a broken nose and a traumatic brain injury. – Staff Writers