Eduardo "Teddy" Bautista, the president of Spain's powerful Society of Authors and Editors (SGAE), has resigned less than two weeks after the organization's offices were raided by national police who were investigating for misappropriation of funds, according to the Spanish daily El Pais.
On July 1 and 2 a total of nine people, including Bautista, were detained in what authorities called "Operation Saga," according to reports. The Spanish Civil Guard Officers led the raid at SGAE's office in Madrid and numerous other locations that included private homes.
In front of SGAE's board board on Tuesday afternoon, Bautista read from a statement announcing his departure. The board, which includes playwright Santiago Moncada, did not take any questions from the media and immediately accepted the resignation that specifically indicated that Bautista was "relieved of all his obligations from SGAE."
According to El Pais, the investigation confirms and uncovers a complicated web of financial wrongdoings that include embezzlement.
As previously reported by the paper, the investigation against SGAE was launched by a complaint filed by computer, Internet and restaurant business associations against the organization in 2007. Cited in the complaint are the actions by Spain's Digital Society of Authors (SDAE), which is controlled by SGAE, and its general director, José Luis Neri. Created in 2000, SDAE's role is to protect authors' digital rights. However, many of its actions - including a special tax on devices that can store music - have been controversial. Neri, according to published reports, is accused of diverting funds through a company called Microgénesis.
The current board of SGAE is composed of 38 members that include composers, playwrights and choreographers. Only 25 attended the meeting Tuesday afternoon at the Palace of Longoria and had no comment. The group is undergoing major re-organization that includes new board members who will help to finalize the gap left open by Bautista's departure.
SGAE is Spain's major collection society with a powerful reach that boasts more than 100,000 members in music, but also the areas of film, theater and audiovisual arts. The organization has distributed about 356 million Euros to members, according to published reports.