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Vilar freed after making bail

June 23, 2005|Chris Pasles

Philanthropist and money manager Alberto Vilar, facing charges of misappropriating $5 million from a longtime friend and client, was released from a New York jail late Monday. Three people, including Kirov Opera conductor Valery Gergiev, raised a total of $1.6 million in cash to help free Vilar, according to the New York Post.

Vilar, 64, had been in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan since late May after he could not secure a $10-million bail bond. That was later reduced to a $4-million personal recognizance bond. But the onetime billionaire -- who gave away or pledged more than $200 million to opera houses, including a $14-million pledge to Los Angeles Opera -- was unable to meet those terms.

On Monday, however, Vilar secured a portion of his bail with personal property, including pieces of art from his Manhattan apartment.

Vilar co-founded Amerindo Investment Advisors with Gary Tanaka, 61, who faces similar charges. Last Thursday, the Los Angeles Fire & Police Pension System decided to pull its $370-million account from the firm. Vilar has pleaded not guilty.

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