Art Dealer Collects Insurance Proceeds And Then Sells Artwork in Germany
Oct 31, 2006
In 1991, a Chicago art dealer reported the theft of Andy Warhol prints from the Cowboys & Indians series. He was paid a significant sum by his insurance company. In 2005, these very same prints came up for sale at an auction house in Germany.
Chris Marinello was appointed by the insurer to investigate and recover the stolen works. When contacted, the consignor provided receipts of purchase from the Chicago art dealer! Either the dealer made a serious error or was committing insurance fraud.
The FBI was contacted and gave Marinello permission to handle the case as a civil matter giving the dealer the benefit of the doubt. The dealer recognised his “error” and got on the next plane to New York to write a cheque reimbursing the insurance company.
Interestingly, in 2013, this same dealer was arrested for selling fake artwork to hundreds of unsuspecting clients. He pleaded guilty to nine fraud counts and was sentenced to prison. The gallery has since closed.