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Deep Purple Accuse Accountant of Stealing Nearly $5 Million

Theo Wargo, Getty Images
Theo Wargo, Getty Images

Deep Purple have filed suit after charging their longtime accountant of siphoning off $4.9 million in royalties. Dipak Shanker Rao, who had been working with the band since 1994, has already admitted to “borrowing” or “lending” at least $2.8 million, according to The Times of London.

England’s High Court this week froze Rao’s assets after bandmates Ian Gillan, Ian Paice and Roger Glover filed suit over the alleged misappropriation of funds from HEC Enterprises and Deep Purple (Overseas) Ltd., companies that control the copyright to Deep Purple’s recordings – as well as those by Deep Purple-related bands like Rainbow and Whitesnake. So far, about only $590,000 has been recovered. Both entities are now in bankruptcy.

Deep Purple will have a chance to reverse their financial fortunes soon with the release of InFinite, their follow up to 2013’s well-received Now What?!, in April. A huge tour – perhaps their last – is also part of their 2017 plans.

The estate of keyboardist Jon Lord, who died in 2012, is also part of this new lawsuit. Financial irregularities only came to light after guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, their former bandmate, demanded $860,000 in allegedly unpaid royalties.

Gillan has admitted that he never followed his own finances. “I’m completely irresponsible,” the singer told the Telegraph. “I’m ignorant about money as a commodity; I have never really understood it. Years ago, I decided to delegate running everything to my management because I’m only home three months every year and the rest of the time on tour.”

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