Russian Billionaire Loses Sotheby’s Art Fraud Lawsuit Russian Billionaire Loses Sotheby’s Art Fraud Lawsuit Involving Salvator Mundi
In a major setback for the art world, a federal jury has ruled in favor of Sotheby’s in a fraud lawsuit brought against the auction house by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev. Rybolovlev had accused Sotheby’s of conspiring with Swiss art dealer Yves Bouvier to trick him into paying inflated prices for several works of art, including Salvator Mundi, a painting attributed to Leonardo da Vinci that sold for a record-breaking $450.3 million in 2017.
Rybolovlev alleged that Sotheby’s and Bouvier had worked together to deceive him about the true value of the Salvator Mundi and other artworks, allowing them to profit at his expense. He claimed that Bouvier had purchased the Salvator Mundi for $80 million and then quickly sold it to Rybolovlev for $127.5 million, without disclosing the true purchase price.
Rybolovlev also accused Sotheby’s of failing to disclose the fact that Bouvier had a financial interest in the sale of the Salvator Mundi, as well as other artworks that Rybolovlev had purchased through the auction house.
After a three-week trial, the jury found that Sotheby’s was not liable for any damages to Rybolovlev. The jury determined that Sotheby’s had not conspired with Bouvier to defraud Rybolovlev and that the auction house had no knowledge of Bouvier’s alleged misconduct.
The verdict is a significant victory for Sotheby’s and a major setback for Rybolovlev, who had been seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. The case has also raised questions about the transparency of The Art Market and the role of auction houses in ensuring that buyers are not defrauded.
The verdict is also likely to have a chilling effect on future lawsuits against auction houses, as it suggests that it will be difficult for buyers to prove that they were defrauded.
The Salvator Mundi case is a reminder that The Art Market is a complex and often secretive world, where buyers need to be vigilant in protecting their interests. It is also a reminder that even the most reputable auction houses can be involved in fraud.
If you are considering buying or selling art, it is important to do your research and to work with a reputable dealer or auction house. You should also be aware of the risks involved in buying art, and you should take steps to protect yourself from fraud.
- The New York Times: Russian Billionaire Loses Sotheby’s Art Fraud Lawsuit
- CNN: Russian billionaire loses Sotheby’s art fraud lawsuit involving ‘Salvator Mundi’
- The Guardian: Russian billionaire loses Sotheby’s fraud case over artworks including Salvator Mundi