Ian Gillan and Ian Paice have spoken to Mirror about DEEP PURPLE's former accountant who was sentenced to six years and four months in prison for stealing £2.2 million (approximately $2.87 million) from two companies that managed the band's royalties.
Dipak Rao, who worked for the band between 1992 and 2014, diverted large sums of money from from the accounts of Deep Purple Overseas Ltd and HEC Enterprises Ltd into his personal accounts. He covered his tracks by excluding them from the financial accounts and restricting access to the companies' bank statements. He then invested the cash into a number of money-making schemes, all of which later turned out to be scams and resulted in Rao losing the money.
"When you think about it, we sold about 120 million records, which relates to about £1.2 billion in the U.K. economy," Gillan told Mirror. "We've seen very little of that."
Paice said: "We're not the first and we won't be the last to be misserved by the people we trusted to look after things.
"It's sad but it's the world we live in. Somebody else's money is always easier to play with. Justice has been served… or has it?"
Gillan added of Dipak: "He's going to do a couple of easy years and then retire to enjoy his spoils. I take no joy in the fact that he's in jail. But it's karma."
Deep Purple Overseas Ltd and HEC Enterprises Ltd were established in the 1970s to manage the copyright of the PURPLE songs, but also became responsible for the rights of RAINBOW and WHITESNAKE, bands formed by former DEEP PURPLE members Ritchie Blackmore and David Coverdale.
Rao's scheme reportedly came to light when Blackmore launched a lawsuit against the group's management companies in 2016, demanding £750,000 in unpaid royalties.
Rao was later sued by DEEP PURPLE members Gillan, Paice and Roger Glover for the return of up to £4 million in royalties.