Paintings Sold to ‘clean up’ Billions

A Mayfair art dealer has been made bankrupt, after his company went into administration last year, coinciding with the collapse of a major US stockbroker.

According to court documents filed in the UK, the art dealer allegedly sold artwork by Pablo Picasso to a ‘fraudster’ buyer, who was actually an undercover FBI agent, with the intention of helping to launder millions of dollars from suspect share deals.

The art dealer was one of the UK-based defendants named in the US indictment, following allegations of money-laundering and securities fraud at the stockbrokers. He allegedly sold millions of pounds worth of art to secure loans to lenders that take other luxury goods such as yachts and jewellery as security.

The indictment alleged that the art dealer sold paintings ‘using the proceeds of stock manipulation deals… to clean up the money’. American court filings suggest that the art dealer has not yet been extradited.

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Written by Syeda Anjum

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