GUGGENHEIM OFFICIAL ADMITS EMBEZZLEMENT

The chief financial officer of Guggenheim museum in Bilbao confessed last week to embezzling almost half a million euros in funds. Roberto Cearsolo Barrenetxea worked at the famous museum for more than a decade and had written a letter admitting his actions shortly after museum officials launched an internal investigation of “financial irregularities”. Officials said Sr Barrenetxea had confessed to transferring a total of 487,000 euros from companies linked to the museum into his personal account since 1998. He had enclosed a cheque for 251,900 euros in his letter. They said Mr Barrenetxea had promised to return the rest of the money within three months. The museum said it started an internal investigation into Sr Barrenetxea after receiving a query from a regional financial tribunal. The museum’s striking structure, designed by architect Frank Gehry, opened in the industrial Basque city in 1997, making it an important European cultural centre.

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