Jazz Pianist Cecil Taylor Conned Out of $500K Award
Jazz pianist Cecil Taylor is accusing his good friend and contractor Noel Muir of conning him out of his $500,000 award.
Muir, who is from Uniondale, was to be arraigned on a charge of grand larceny. If he is convicted, he could face up to 15 years in prison, authorities revealed.
Back in 2013, Taylor was invited to Japan to receive the prestigious Kyoto Prize by Japan’s Inamori Foundation. Muir, who has been his contractor for the past couple of years, went with him to the said event, according to MSN.
While they were in Japan, the 85-year-old pianist and the 54-year-old Muir provided the foundation with the former’s bank details to which it could wire the prize money pegged at $492,722.55, the same publication noted.
However, Muir supposedly gave details of the bank account that was named under The Cecil Taylor Foundation but in reality, he had the money wired to his own personal account under the name MCAI Construction, PIX11 reported.
Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson spoke at a press conference on Tuesday where he divulged details about the case.
“We learned shortly after that tripe there was an issue in respect to the prize money and Taylor not receiving the prize money,” he said.
Thompson also released a statement and said, “The defendant befriended Mr. Taylor and won his trust which later made it easier for him to allegedly swindle this vulnerable, elderly and great jazz musician.”
Meanwhile, Muir’s attorney, James Costco stressed that his client maintains his innocence and clarified that the MCAI Construction bank account had been set up with the musician’s knowledge and approval,” News Day noted.
The Jazz musician spoke to reporters and said, “If you have a friend and they make a mistake, hopefully the law will take care of it. I don’t know how unhappy he must be but that’s on him. I want to move on,” he said.