Ex-Deep Purple Accountant Stole Nearly $3 Million, Gets Prison Sentence
Over two years ago, Deep Purple filed a lawsuit against Dipak Shanker Rao, their longtime accountant. He was accused of siphoning off nearly $5 million from the band's royalties and now the matter has been settled and Rao has received a prison sentence of six years and four months after being found guilty.
SurreyLive reports that Rao, 71, stole £2.2 million (about $2.87 million), transferring money from the Deep Purple Overseas Ltd. and HEC Enterprises Ltd. accounts, of which he was made director of in 2009 and 2003 respectively, and had been a secretary since 1992. Rao pleaded guilty to both fraud by abuse of position and transferring criminal property.
Rather than distributing royalty payments from these accounts, Rao kept a percentage of the money coming before distributing them to the artists.
Rao has been disqualified as a director of a company until 2028 and will be required to serve at least half of his sentence before being released.
In 2014, after stolen funds were uncovered at a board meeting, Rao resigned from both companies. It has been reported that he used the stolen money to invest in money-making scams.
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