IFPI Boss and CEO Accused of Tax Evasion in Germany

The IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) may be quick to denounce others for breaking the law when it comes to downloading copyright infringement, but now the shoe is on the other foot. After incriminating documents surfaced about the organization, some very interesting questions about the IFPI are being raised.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

High ranking members of the IFPI might be a little more red-faced these days, but not because someone is downloading KISS albums. According to Original) about IFPI “boss” Ivo Sacchi and IFPI CEO Beat Högger may have been involved what some are calling “tax fraud”.

From the translated Heise article:

The reason for the investigation of German tax investigators, the suspect that it is located in the German-owned corporation is a shell company, which primarily served the purpose, the German tax authorities unlawfully withhold income. Should not involve manipulation of documents and business books have arrived, this would also punishable in Switzerland. That IP gate actually a shell company, there are several clues to Swiss media reports: The company was reported, for example, by 2009, as the IFPI in the Zurich Toblerstrasse 76a. Since then, it resides in the power Strasse 30 Рan address that refers to the same building. And the next two H̦gger only employees of the company are two secretaries who work strangely well with the IFPI.

These revelations are largely seen as a black eye for the organization and some wonder if the scandal is isolated to the two higher ups or if others in the IFPI are involved in this scandal. The reports don’t suggest that German authorities are investigating, but given how cash strapped some European countries are these days, it might not be too far fetched to think that authorities might be interested in pursuing the case.

The IFPI has been known for pushing for things like a three strikes regime in Britain amongst other anti-piracy efforts across a number of countries.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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