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Displaying items by tag: conspiracy

Texas-based appraiser of Asian art pleaded guilty in U.S. federal court Tuesday to taking part in a conspiracy to smuggle illegal rhinoceros horns and elephant ivory to China.
 
Ning Qiu could spend more than two years in prison and be fined $150,000 when he is sentenced at a later date.
 
Authorities say Qiu admitted to helping the boss of the scheme obtain rhino horns and ivory, where they were smuggled to Hong Kong and used to make fake antiques.
 

Published in News
Wednesday, 03 July 2013 13:59

Andy Warhol Foundation Ends Lengthy Legal Battle

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts has ended a six-year clash with its insurer Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company, recovering almost $6.6 million in legal fees. The battle between the foundation and its insurer began over authentication issues and snowballed to include the repayment of related legal fees.

The dispute began in 2007 when art collector Joe Simon-Whelan sued the foundation’s authentication branch for alleged fraud and conspiracy relating to the purchase of his 1965 Andy Warhol self-portrait, which he paid approximately $200,000 for in 1989 and was later deemed inauthentic. Another collector, Susan Shaer, filed a similar suit again the foundation in 2010 bringing the legal fees doled out to nearly $7 million.

According to a statement released by the foundation, “both suits alleged an absurd scheme to manipulate the prices for Andy Warhol’s (1928-1987) artwork yet [they] were forced to dismiss their claims in late 2010…The Foundation’s insurers nevertheless refused to reimburse the Foundation for its legal costs incurred in defending these bogus suits, alleging that the Foundation’s insurance policies did not cover claims of this nature.” The funds have since been repaid by Philadelphia Indemnity and transferred to the foundation’s endowment.

The Andy Warhol Foundation was established in 1987 following the artist’s sudden death. The organization’s mission is to support the creation, presentation and documentation of contemporary visual art.

Published in News

Known for her extravagant shoe collection, one-time Philippine first lady, Imelda Marcos, also accrued an admirable art collection during her late husband’s reign. Marcos’ former secretary, Vilma Bautisa, was indicted on Tuesday, November 20th, on charges of conspiracy, tax fraud, and offering a false instrument for filing, all relating to artworks that had previously belonged to Marcos. 74-year-old Bautista acquired a number of important paintings from Marcos and her husband, Ferdinand, after his regime came crashing down in 1986 after a citizen revolt.

The Manhattan District Attorney hit Bautista, a New York resident, with charges that she was conspiring to sell paintings that were the legal property of the Philippine government. The District Attorney’s office claims that Bautista used false paperwork to sell Le Bassin aux Nymphéas (1899) from Claude Monet’s Water Lilies series in September 2010 for $32 million. The other works in Bautista’s possession are Monet’s L’Eglise et La Seine a Vétheuil (1881), Alfred Sisley’s Langland Bay (1887), and Albert Marquet’s Le Cypres de Djenan Sidi Said (1946). The four paintings involved in the suit once hung in a Manhattan town house used by Imelda Marcos and her husband.

Two of Bautista’s nephews were also charged but did not appear in court. Bautista pleaded not guilty and was released on a $175,000 bond.

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