The Evil Imp

Covering Your Tracks

In our second Royal Opera House story of the day we focus on the selective facts coming out of ROH about the recent donation from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation of £10Million (GBP).

With regards to the donation itself there is nothing to report, it’s all ship-shape, above board and any other ridiculous cliche you can think of.

Our attention is focused on why the ROH needed the money and that situation is thanks to a man we have mentioned previously on Article19, a man by the name of Alberto Vilar.

The money given by the Hamlyn Foundation buys them a renaming of the Floral Hall to the Paul Hamlyn Hall. The hall used to be called the Vilar Floral Hall but that name was removed in 2005 because, as the ROH press release says;

“The Floral Hall was renamed the Vilar Floral Hall in 1999 in recognition of a £10 milllion pledge towards the Development Appeal by Alberto Vilar, but when he was unable to make the full donation, his name was removed in 2005.”

What they fail to tell you is that Mr Vilar is under indictment in the United States on suspicion of defrauding investors. Not only is the Securities and Exchange Commission bringing civil charges but the Department of Justice (DoJ) is filing criminal charges against Mr Vilar (and a co-defendant) in New York.

If convicted he faces a staggering 120 years in prison (that’s not a typo) as well as millions of dollars in fines although the actual prison sentence will probably be far less harsh.

There is currently no evidence or suggestion that any money given to the ROH was sourced from the alleged criminal activity of Mr Vilar. We have asked the DoJ if they can clarify this.

It’s very interesting to us though that both the ROH and the BBC (who covered the new donation story) failed to mention why Mr Vilar’s name was removed from the ROH building and just what kind of trouble the former hot shot, US investor is in.

Communications, it’s not about what you say but what you don’t say!