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Frauds, Fakes & Scandals

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Wildenstein Scandal The End of the Road (23-04-2011) Guy Wildenstein and his brother Alec have been surrounded by more scandal than any other wealthy family bar the Kennedys and the Gettys .

Wildenstein Scandal The End of the Road (23-04-2011)

The 65 year old billionaire, who is the president of Wildenstein & Co. presides over one of the most prestigious art dealerships in the world. It is a global multi billion dollar business which dates back five generations and is still family run. Wildenstein is now facing charges by French anti-fraud investigators for alleged money-laundering and tax evasion. Guy Wildenstein’s Bank in Trouble over Accusation of Aiding his (Alleged) Tax Evasion. The New York born Wildenstein, 70, is accused of failing to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in inheritance taxes.

Guy Wildenstein’s Bank in Trouble over Accusation of Aiding his (Alleged) Tax Evasion

A French prosecutor on Monday confirmed that the Parquet national financer—the agency dealing with tax dodgers—is recommending charging RBC Trust Company (Bahamas) Ltd., a wealth management subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada, with supporting tax fraud and money laundering perpetrated by billionaire international art dealer Guy Wildenstein and his circle of friends and family, BNN reported. The prosecution believes RBC Trust Co. held in trust a substantial portion of the inheritance of Daniel Wildenstein, Guy’s father, who died in 2001. The New York born Wildenstein, 70, is accused of failing to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in inheritance taxes, money which he allegedly laundered. He contests the allegations and is currently out on a $10.7 million bond. As they well should. Guy Wildenstein Heads to Criminal Court for Tax Evasion. Art dealer Guy Wildenstein has been referred to criminal court for “deliberately and fraudulently evading” taxes on his father Daniel’s estate, according to French-language reports from the AFP wire service.

Guy Wildenstein Heads to Criminal Court for Tax Evasion

Also implicated are Guy’s sister-in-law Liouba, his nephew Alec Jr., and three of the family’s advisors; Liouba faces charges of complicity in money laundering, Alec Jr. of tax fraud. This latest development represents a fulfillment of the recommendation made by financial watchdog organization Parquet national financier (PNF) in January. The Wildensteins have long been under scrutiny on this particular issue, with tax evasion and fraud charges dating back to 2011. Also in 2011, authorities raided the Wildenstein Institute and seized 30 works suspected to be Nazi loot, which led to another charge for Guy — this time, harboring stolen goods. . — Anneliese Cooper (@DawnDavenport) and Mostafa Heddaya (@mheddaya) Wildenstein Vault Holds Key to Feud Over Missing Painting. March 13 (Bloomberg) -- A new exhibition of Impressionist Berthe Morisot’s work is missing a piece of art: a painting that’s ignited a feud between two of the art world’s most prominent families.

Wildenstein Vault Holds Key to Feud Over Missing Painting

“The Cottage in Normandy,” estimated at 800,000 euros ($1 million), isn’t in the show, which opened last week at the Marmottan Monet museum in Paris. The painting is instead across the Seine in the custody of police, who seized it last year in a vault owned by the Wildenstein art-dealing family. “It’s extraordinary, it hadn’t changed from the moment when it was at my grandmother’s home, and then at my uncle and aunt’s,” said Morisot’s great-grandson, Yves Rouart, recalling when he saw the painting at the police station. The recovery renewed his hopes of finding four other works by Edouard Manet, his great-great uncle, and Jean-Baptiste Corot, Morisot’s teacher.

As they built their empire over five generations, the Wildensteins did more than buy and sell art. Held for Questioning. Wildenstein Art Gallery Is Beset by Lawsuits. Guy Wildenstein Defends Holding Missing Art in Paris Vault. Correction Appended PARIS — Guy Wildenstein, the billionaire international art dealer, is accustomed to shuttling between his company’s limestone headquarters on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and the Wildenstein Institute, his family’s research center in a regal mansion on the Right Bank here.

Guy Wildenstein Defends Holding Missing Art in Paris Vault

But last week he spent 36 hours in police custody, sleeping two nights in the headquarters of a special art-theft squad outside Paris, where he was formally charged with concealing art that had been reported missing or stolen. The crime, known officially as a “breach of trust,” carries a maximum penalty of seven years in prison. To see the full article, subscribe here. Correction: July 20, 2011. Artworks worth millions seized from Wildenstein Institute. Mr Rouart has filed for charges against “persons unknown” for “concealment of theft”.

Artworks worth millions seized from Wildenstein Institute

Guy Wildenstein’s lawyers declined to comment. Other works seized by police also included bronzes of animals by Rembrandt Bugatti and two sketches by Edgar Degas. These allegedly belonged to Joseph Reinach, a major art collector who had many works expropriated by the Nazis during the Second World War. Mr Reinach’s heir, Alexandre Bronstein, has filed for charges against persons unknown for “theft and concealment”. Michael Z. Wise. “There are a lot of memories here,” the scion of one of the world’s legendary art- dealing dynasties said as he showed a visitor around the palatial New York headquarters that the Wildenstein family built for itself in 1932.

Michael Z. Wise

“Think of the people who have sat in this room,” David Wildenstein said wistfully, as he mentioned J.P. Morgan, Henry Clay Frick, Samuel H. Kress, and John D. Rockefeller. Tomflynn: EXCLUSIVE — More on the Monet rejected by the Wildenstein Institute. Following the BBC's investigation into the authenticity of a Claude Monet painting owned by British collector David Joel (which I reported here), more evidence has emerged which endorses the growing consensus that the Wildenstein Institute can no longer be trusted to fulfill its role as the exclusive and official authenticator of Monet's paintings.

tomflynn: EXCLUSIVE — More on the Monet rejected by the Wildenstein Institute

Briefly summarised, the BBC documentary entitled Fake or Fortune succeeded in establishing a watertight provenance and an unequivocal attribution for Mr Joel's Monet landscape — Les bords de la Seine à Argentueil (shown above left). The producers of the programme deftly disguised the fact that most of the research leads had been provided by David Joel himself, but I'll come back to that later. Although the documentary was made last year, it has only just been broadcast.


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