Judge jails Beaver Creek philanthropist | AspenTimes.com
YOUR AD HERE »

Judge jails Beaver Creek philanthropist

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

MANHATTAN, N.Y. ” A judge ordered Beaver Creek arts patron Alberto Vilar imprisoned Thursday to await sentencing after his conviction on conspiracy fraud charges.

Former Beaver Creek resident Vilar, 68, was led away by U.S. marshals after Judge Richard J. Sullivan announced his order at a hearing in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

Prosecutors had argued that Vilar, namesake of Beaver Creek’s performing arts center, should be sent to prison, saying there was a risk he would flee before his March 20 sentencing.

The philanthropist was convicted last month by a jury that heard evidence that he lied to clients by promising safe and steady returns through conservative investments by his San Francisco-based investment company, Amerindo Investment Advisors Inc. Prosecutors said he actually put their money in risky technology stocks.

The judge agreed with prosecutors Thursday, saying he was no longer confident that Vilar would appear at sentencing. Federal guidelines call for Vilar, once a pillar of philanthropy for opera and cultural institutions worldwide, to receive at least 27 years in prison.

Vilar’s lawyer, Herald Price Fahringer, argued his client should not be imprisoned.

“You’re talking about a man who’s had a perfect record on bail,” Fahringer said.

Sullivan noted that a defendant, once convicted, had to prove he was not a risk to flee.

“I’m risk averse,” the judge said. “I don’t want to roll the dice as to whether Mr. Vilar will appear for sentencing.”

In court papers, prosecutors said Vilar’s promise to appear for sentencing was “essentially meaningless” given his history of lying whenever it served his interest, his vast experience at living and traveling abroad and his access to wealth.

Forbes magazine once said Vilar was worth $950 million, but that was before the collapse in technology stocks.


Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.

For tax deductible donations, click here.
 

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User