DEEP PURPLE SUE THEIR LONG-TIME ACCOUNTANT FOR FOUR MILLION 8th January 2017
Deep Purple have filed a lawsuit against their longtime accountant, Dipak Shanker Rao, accusing him of siphoning off up to £4million in band royalties.
According to The Times, the High Court has frozen the assets of Rao, who is being sued by Ian Gillan, Ian Paice and Roger Glover for allegedly misappropriating funds from their financial companies, HEC Enterprises and Deep Purple (Overseas) Ltd. Both companies own the copyright to many of the band's recordings, along with those of Rainbow and Whitesnake.
Rao has been working for Deep Purple for more than twenty years and has reportedly admitted "borrowing" or "lending" at least £2.27 million of Purple's money. Only £477,000 has been recovered thus far, with both HEC Enterprises and Deep Purple (Overseas) Ltd. having gone into administration a year ago.
These irregularities only came to light as a result of a lawsuit brought against the company by Ritchie Blackmore, who last year demanded £750,000 in unpaid royalties.
Blackmore sued the band's management companies twelve years after his former bandmates themselves sued the same firms, claiming they were similarly owed royalties. That 2003 lawsuit was eventually settled out of court.
In a 2009 interview with The Telegraph, Ian Gillan admitted he has not been particularly involved in overseeing Deep Purple's financial affairs. He said at the time:
"I'm completely irresponsible. 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."
In his 1998 autobiography, Gillan spoke well about their first accountant, the late Bill Reid, who the band found after marching into the reception of a major London firm demanding to see one of the financial partners.
"Bill became an anchor – at least in my life," Gillan wrote. "Bill told us what we could afford, and he paid the accounts. It seemed that we were a bottomless pit of money, but everything was channelled through him, and we respected that."