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Music concert

Deep Purple accountant rocked by ban

29th Sep 2017
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The former accountant of legendary rock band Deep Purple has been banned from serving as a director for 11 years by the Insolvency Service.

An investigation found that Dipak Rao, who acted as Deep Purple’s accountant for more than 20 years, misappropriated at least £2m from companies responsible for controlling the copyright for many of the band’s hits.

The Insolvency Service discovered that between 2008 and 2014 Rao had made numerous payments from Deep Purple (Overseas) Ltd and HEC Enterprises Ltd into his personal accounts.

Rao hid these transactions by excluding them from the financial accounts and restricting access to the companies’ bank statements.

Both entities were established in the 1970s to manage the copyright of the band’s hits, but also became responsible for the rights of Rainbow and Whitesnake, bands formed by former Deep Purple members Ritchie Blackmore and David Coverdale.

Rao admitted to “borrowing” at least £2.27m, but according to the Insolvency Service only £477,000 has so far been recovered. He resigned as director of both firms in November 2014, and in early 2016 they both went into administration.

His scheme came to light when Richie Blackmore, the band's former guitarist, launched a lawsuit against the group's management companies last year, demanding £750,000 in unpaid royalties.

After concluding their investigation, which an insider told the Guardian was ‘as clear as it was damning’, Rao has been disqualified from managing or controlling a company without leave of the court until 2028.

“Rao misappropriated company funds,” said Insolvency Service chief investigator Sue Macleod, “causing detriment to the company and its creditors, to his own personal benefit.”

“Company directors should note from this enforcement result that actions of this kind will lead to serious censure.

“This disqualification is a reminder to others tempted to do the same that the Insolvency Service will rigorously pursue enforcement action and seek to remove from them for a lengthy period.”

In an ongoing case separate to the Insolvency Service investigation the Times reported in January that several members of the band, including lead singer, Ian Gillan, are suing Rao in the high court for a reported £4m over his management of their financial affairs.

Deep Purple’s relationship with Rao is far removed from their former accountant, the late Bill Reid. According to Gillan’s 1998 autobiography, the band’s first accountant was “an anchor” for the band, after they found him by marching into the reception of a “major London firm” and demanding to see one of their partners.  

Replies (12)

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By johnjenkins
29th Sep 2017 09:36

Wow. It really doesn't make it worth "borrowing" a few mill does it?

Thanks (4)
By Duggimon
29th Sep 2017 10:45

Why isn't he in jail? Why is the CPS not involved?

Thanks (6)
By taxinfo
29th Sep 2017 10:50

My thought too. Bludsucker. Rao was obviously the wrong man and the band were mistreated. A case of what's goin on here?

Thanks (0)
Replying to taxinfo:
By Duggimon
29th Sep 2017 11:41

I don't know how to add minus thanks to a post so I thanked you and then rescinded it.

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By carnmores
29th Sep 2017 10:54

whats going on is rocking puns

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By richards1
29th Sep 2017 11:01

If he is any good as an accountant all his assets will be well hidden.
Lets hope he is like most of the accountants I meet so that Deep P can get their money back.

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Replying to richards1:
By Duggimon
29th Sep 2017 11:05

I feel like if he was that crafty then the evidence of his misappropriation wouldn't be bank transfers from the company accounts in to his personal account, hidden just by sticking the statements under his bed.

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By rememberscarborough
29th Sep 2017 12:27

Wonder if the band's other management are looking for new jobs as well? Also, both sets of accounts have nowhere near this cash in them so surely someone was checking them before signing them off?

BTW if I went in to a bank and walked off with this sum I'd be spending the next 10-15 years at Her Majesty's Pleasure so what's the difference...

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By gilderda
29th Sep 2017 12:47

So the company accounts were essentially just smoke (and mirrors) on the water?

Thanks (1)
Replying to gilderda:
By johnjenkins
29th Sep 2017 12:55

That's a Bad attitude to take.

Thanks (1)
By Nick Graves
29th Sep 2017 13:19

Sly, sly, sly,
Like a demon's eye.

Does seem odd that some have done bird for lesser sums. Probably too complicated for the CPS, or the ongoing law suits.

He might yet have his Black Night...

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By AndrewV12
07th Oct 2017 11:06

Extract above
'Rao admitted to “borrowing” at least £2.27m'

As Father Ted once said : I don't know what happened to that money-!

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