Austrian prosecutors have filed charges against Dietmar Machold, a leading expert on Stradivari. According to reports Machold would value instruments for sums far exceeding their actual worth and use these valuations as collateral in loans that he applied for.
“His reputation meant for example that a German bank loaned him millions of pounds when he provided them with two almost worthless violins and a certificate he had signed himself in which he claimed they were both genuine Stradivari.
When the German bank decided at a later stage to get a second opinion they were shocked to find that the two violins worth little more than 3000 GBP in total. They filed for a return of the money and Vienna court and Machold’s empire began to unravel.”