Fraud

Fraud: the case of Inigo Philbrick

Plus, Warhol’s Catholicism and Moscow’s new museums

Hosted by Ben Luke. with guest speaker Georgina Adam. Produced by Julia Michalska, Aimee Dawson and David Clack. With Henrietta Bentall
Sponsored byChristie's

Andy Valmorbida, collector and promoter of Richard Hambleton, admits to range of crimes in court

Claiming to own the rights to the works of the late New York street artist, the dealer confessed to selling works he did not own, and defrauding institutions for loans

'No matter how wealthy you are, no one is above the law': New York court rejects Sotheby's attempt to dismiss suit alleging it helped collector evade tax on $27m of art

Attorney general claims the auction house created and used tax exemption certificates that falsely presented the buyer as an art dealer in order to dodge payments. Sotheby's says it will continue to contest the case

Crime news

Jailed diamond dealer and art collector Nirav Modi fights extradition to India on mental health grounds

Modi, who is currently held in Wandsworth Prison in London, is wanted for allegedly defrauding a state bank of £729m

Family members fall out over Rembrandt stored in a New Jersey basement

An heir of an early owner claims that family members conspired to have it sold without his knowledge

Fraudnews

Client confidentiality overturned by London High Court, as Dickinson forced to reveal buyer of $4.85m Signac painting

US collector Linda Hickox is seeking to recover the work which was sold via broker by the now jailed art dealer Timothy Sammons

The devil is in the paperwork—don't be caught out by provenance fraud

The rise of the online art market means due diligence on purchasing art is becoming increasingly complex

Two Manhattan antiquities dealers arrested on charges of fraud

Authorities have accused Erdal Dere and Faisal Khan of running an alleged scheme to swindle buyers by using fake provenances

Lawnews

New York grand jury indicts Inigo Philbrick on federal fraud charges

The dealer was arrested by the FBI on the Pacific island Vanuatu last month and transferred into federal custody

Monaco court dismisses criminal case against Yves Bouvier

The Swiss art dealer had been accused of fraud and money laundering by the Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev—a related case in Geneva remains active

Fugitive art dealer Inigo Philbrick found on Pacific Island, charged with $20m fraud scheme

London and Miami-based Philbrick, on the run since October, was arrested by FBI on Vanuatu on Thursday

Florida man who bought a Rothko from Sotheby’s using a stolen identity sentenced to 4.5 years in prison

The interior decorator was convicted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud for buying art from galleries, auction houses and collectors using his wealthy clients’ credentials

Convicted art fraudster Ezra Chowaiki subject of yet more legal drama

New racketeering suit against the disgraced New York art dealer, brought by a Spanish collector regarding paintings by Picasso and Léger, gets off to a mixed start

Art lawcomment

Selling art online? Here are the legal pitfalls to avoid

Lawyer Petra Warrington on how to protect your business if you are holding online auctions, exhibiting and selling works on Instagram, or entering into sale contracts by email

Robert Indiana’s LOVE at centre of new $150m fraud claim

American Image Art founder alleges certain works are in the public domain and cannot be copyrighted

Fraudnews

German socialite Angela Gulbenkian faces second criminal case over Warhol print

The Munich-based dealer and collector is also due to stand trial in London for allegedly stealing £1.1m in Kusama pumpkin sale

Crime news

Released but still under investigation: Russian couple embroiled in fraud scandal

Igor and Olga Toporovsky linked to controversial show of Russian avant-garde works in Ghent

Lawsuitscomment

Dodgy dealers beware: anti-fraud lawsuits are on the rise

A spate of fraudulent agents in the dock this year give the art trade a bad image—even if only a few individuals are involved

Art crimeanalysis

Seller beware: how to avoid being duped by an artful dodger

Timothy Sammons misled clients over sales of works by artists including Picasso

Timothy Sammons 'very remorseful' as he is jailed for defrauding clients of up to $30m

British art dealer sentenced to up to 12 years after pleading guilty to fraud and grand larceny in the New York State Supreme Court

‘Portuguese Saatchi’ in hot water over alleged €1bn debt

Three Portuguese banks have filed a lawsuit to recover funds from Joe Berardo, whose vast collection on show in Lisbon is one of the most visited in Portugal

London dealers embroiled in Ezra Chowaiki fraud scheme over $1.2m Chagall painting

Fresh complaint seeks the return of the work allegedly sold by the disgraced Manhattan dealer under false pretences

Jean-Claude Juncker dismisses claims that freeports are ‘systematically used to commit fraud’

European Commission president rebuffs German MEP Wolf Klinz's demand for a proper investigation into the management of Le Freeport Luxembourg

Russian billionaire Dmitri Rybolovlev charged in corruption probe brought by Monaco police

The formal investigation follows his detainment earlier this week related to an ongoing spat with the art dealer Yves Bouvier

Guy Wildenstein cleared of tax evasion for a second time in Paris

Franco-American scion of art dealing dynasty was accused of hiding art and other property worth hundreds of millions of euros from French authorities

Lawnews

New York art dealer pleads guilty to multimillion-dollar fraud

The court has ordered that Ezra Chowaiki forfeit over $16.6m as well as works by Picasso, Calder, Chagall and Degas

Picasso painting offered in money-laundering scheme, US feds say

London art dealer Matthew Green embroiled in case that involves attempted sale of a painting to an undercover agent to 'clean up' £6.7m, court documents state

Lawnews

Dealer of works stolen by Jasper Johns's assistant can be charged with racketeering, court rules

The decision adds another wrinkle to the unsettled case law surrounding liability in art fraud

Fraudnews

Galleries hit by cyber crime wave

Hackers are using an email scam to intercept payments between galleries, collectors and others

Lawyers battle to tip balance of evidence before Knoedler trial

Both sides seek to exclude key witnesses and evidence from the forgery case which is set to begin on 25 January

Online art sales are on the up—and so is fraud

Retailers need to do more to protect buyers from fraudsters selling fakes as online art businesses attract more investment

Lawnews

Art collection of bankrupt German art consultancy to go under hammer

Sale of more than 2,000 works from Helge Achenbach's company expected to fetch between €3m and €4.5m

Lawnews

Change in governance at Luxembourg Freeport after Swiss investor’s arrest

Yves Bouvier is reportedly to be replaced by a group of independent directors

Trust no one: victory for Gagosian in two-year case

Court concludes that dealers’ statements of value are legally meaningless

Newsarchive

China Guardian head sounds warning note on sales and fraud

Hu Yanyan says that results will still be “healthy”

Knoedlerarchive

Names of buyers deceived by Knoedler Gallery fakes disclosed

The document details museums, art dealers and private collectors who have brought charges against the gallery and its disgraced director

Fraudarchive

Christie’s sold fake Knoedler Rothko ‘worth’ $4m

Christie's finds itself caught up in the ongoing forgery scandal

Forgeriesarchive

Growth in internet sales forces fraud issue

Identifying forgeries being sold on websites is not enough to tackle the problem

Knoedlerarchive

Knoedler saga shows no sign of abating after last month's settlement as multiple suits remain unresolved

Several of the New York gallery's representatives have been indicted for engineering the sale of Abstract Expressionist forgeries

Lawsuitsarchive

Collector and Madoff associate Ezra Merkin finds himself in court

He is accused of defrauding his investors, which include charities

Collectorsarchive

Russian art collector could face seven years in prison

Vladimir Nekrasov has been charged with corporate tax evasion

Lawsuitsarchive

Dodgy dealers, curators and collectors named in the Marion True trial in Rome

The latest in the trial of former Getty antiquities curator, Marion True, and the Paris-based dealer Robert Hech both charged with conspiring to receive illegally excavated antiquities

Revealed: the eBay Banksy print fraud

Unauthorised works by the anonymous graffiti artist have been sold on the internet; prices for these have been illegally inflated with fake bids

Art marketarchive

Warhol Brillo boxes could be fake

Allegations circulate that curator Pontus Hultén created unauthorised replicas

Newsarchive

Accountant alleges major fraud at art school founded by Andy Warhol

Charges focus on former executive director of the New York Academy of Art

Respected Pre-Colombian art dealers indicted over fraud

The Merrin brothers are accused of defrauding clients out of millions of dollars

Fraudarchive

Former French Foreign Minister and a leading auctioneer ordered to trial over money kept back from Giacometti estate sales

Roland Dumas and Jacques Tajan face accusations of abuse of confidence after evidence suggests proceeds from auction were illicitly retained

The dangerous, fake-riddled world of Modiglianis

Death threats, market interests and too many specialists bedevil research into the subject

Crime archive

Over 30 Manhattan art collectors have come forward voluntarily to pay $6 million in unpaid State sales tax on works of art

NY District Attorney promises amnesty for those who come forward while corporate executive Samuel Waksal enters a guilty plea for tax evasion

Art marketarchive

Will art crime be more common in cyberspace?

What effect will the internet have on a market traditionally based on face-to-face contact and what are the implications of increased access to information?

March 1999archive

'The biggest contemporary art fraud of the century'

John Drewe probably faked as many as 200 pictures, tampering with archive material and duping the experts

Exploitation of the Tate Archives: Trial of accused paintings fraudster

John Drewe donated money to the Tate and allegedly doctored its documents

Cache of paintings supposedly smuggled out of Nazi Germany turn out to be forgeries

Bryn Lloyd Williams, a former dealer, duped Desmond Guinness of the Irish Georgian Society and cheated investors out of £1.8 million, while Expressionist fakes toured 12 US colleges

July 1994archive

The hunting and capture of two fakers: Mr and Mrs 'van den Bergen' arrested on forgery charges

Ali Baba’s cave of forgeries uncovered—the crucial evidence lay in the fake certificates

Scotland Yard flushing out the fakes

Criminal proceedings over early English pottery fraud

Fake Giacometti furniture trial ends with jail sentences and fines for Jacques Redoutey and suppliers

Experts complain that large number of fakes in the market makes it difficult to identify authentic works