Court Rules Sotheby’s Must Face Fraud Lawsuit Leveled by Russian Oligarch

Advising the two parties to settle out of court to avoid an “expensive, risky, and potentially embarrassing” trial, a New York judge on March 1 ruled that Sotheby’s must contend with billionaire Dimitry Rybolovlev’s claim that it assisted his former dealer in defrauding him of hundreds of millions of dollars in regard to fifteen artworks. Rybolovlev since 2015 has pursued Yves Bouvier in courts around the world, claiming that the Swiss art dealer overcharged him on thirty-eight artworks that the Russian fertilizer magnate purchased for $2 billion between 2003 and 2015.

Sotheby’s was implicated in knowingly aiding and abetting Bouvier’s fraud in the sale of a dozen of these works, for which Rybolovlev contends he was overcharged by $1 billion. Among the works at issue are the world’s most expensive painting: the Salvator Mundi attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, which Rybolovlev purchased from the global auction house in 2013 for $127.5 million and sold in 2017 for a record-smashing $450.3 million to Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. Sotheby’s had asked for the suit to be dismissed on grounds of timeliness. US District Judge Jesse Furman dismissed claims regarding works by Pablo Picasso, Auguste Rodin, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and others but allowed those related to the Leonardo work; René Magritte’s Le domaine d’Arnheim, 1962; Gustav Klimt’s Wasserschlangen II, 1907; and Amedeo Modigliani’s Tête, 1911–12, to proceed.

Rybolovlev’s fortune is estimated by Forbes as roughly $6.6 billion. Courthouse News reports that the oligarch bought the private Greek island of Skorpios, in the Ionian Sea, and that he is said to be building a high-end art resort there. The island was formerly owned by Greek shipping baron Aristotle Onassis and occupied by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.


Source link

Latest articles

Related articles