Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Sherlock's Not-So-Elementary Investigation; after Family Feud, Police Probe Founder of Baker Street Museum

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Sherlock's Not-So-Elementary Investigation; after Family Feud, Police Probe Founder of Baker Street Museum

Article excerpt

Byline: Benedict Moore-Bridger

THE founder of the Sherlock Holmes Museum who was sued by his family over millions in admission fees is being investigated by police over allegations of fraud, theft and blackmail. Father-of-two John Aidiniantz, 58, was taken to court last year by his 86-year-old mother Grace Riley over nearly PS2 million of ticket and gift shop receipts from the London attraction.

The complex case involved disputes over the ownership of various family companies, properties and who was entitled to the various strands of income from the museum business.

Mr Aidinantz is a convicted fraudster who was given a three-year jail sentence in 1994 over a PS1.2 million mortgage swindle. The family claimed he misappropriated museum funds, while he insisted they had no entitlement to the takings and in turn alleged PS175,000 of other cash had gone missing, taken by others in the family.

But last year a judge granted an injunction freezing his assets, and the case seemed to be concluded when the family subsequently reached an outof-court settlement with him.

However the Standard has learned that the dispute continues and police enquiries are also under way.

The family employed a private detective to investigate the case. His report was handed to police and last month Mr Aidiniantz was interviewed under caution at Charing Cross police station on suspicion of theft and fraud.

The report also referred to allegations of harassment and asserted Mr Aidiniantz had demanded money from exhome secretary David Blunkett's former political nemesis Tariq Siddiqi. His DNA Bioscience company was at the centre of a controversy that saw Mr Blunkett quit the cabinet in 2005 over allegations that he failed to consult over his directorship of the firm. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.