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€40k brothel bill 'work-related': copyright boss

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€40k brothel bill 'work-related': copyright boss
Photo of beer bottles: Shutterstock
12:20 CET+01:00
A former executive with Spain's main copyright organization has been sentenced to prison for spending €40,000 ($50,000) in brothels using a corporate credit card, with a judge describing as "nonsense" the man's claims that the visits were work-related.

Pedro Farré, the former head of corporate relations at the Spanish Society of Authors and Publishers (SGAE) was handed a 30-month sentence after the National Court found him guilty of embezzlement and faking work-related documents.

The judge said Farré had withdrawn cash during his jaunts to brothels, and then created "completely false" receipts, supposedly for services such as "catering" for SGAE clients which he later handed in to his employer's accounting office to claim the money back.

These were submitted alongside genuine receipts to avoid arousing suspicion, the court heard.

Farré had argued the expenses he clocked up, including drinks for prostitutes, were entertaining expenses for SGAE events such as work-related seminars, forums and university presentations.

But the judge said it bordered on "pure nonsense" to suggest people interested in copyright would come to events at sex clubs.  

He also slammed the copyright expert's claims he had visited the clubs to see if there were any rights issues in terms of the music being played there.

During the trial, the former SGAE executive even argued he had been framed by a detective and journalist named Cervero who was unable to appear as a witness during the trial because of serious heart problems.

The presiding judge, however, dismissed those claims as well. 

Farré usually "arrived at around five in the afternoon with girls and left at 6am the next morning, having brought drinks and champagne while regularly changing girls," the owner of one brothel told the court during the trial.

The sentence is not yet final, Spain's Público newspaper reported.

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