Rybolovlev paid more than $2 billion to the art dealer who had cheated him

During the acquaintance with the Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, the Swiss art dealer Yves Bouvier sold him nearly 40 works of art valued at more than $2 billion, Bloomberg reported in its investigation.
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Rybolovlev Bouvier accuses of cheating. The lawsuit, filed in the court of Monaco, said that the Swiss billionaire indicated in the exposed accounts and high prices are likely to "secretly kept part of the sale." Bloomberg journalists familiarized with the position of the plaintiff and defendant, as well as the materials of the investigation. The results of the investigation will be published in the June issue of Bloomberg Markets magazine. Excerpts of this material are on the agency's website.

According to Bloomberg data, the collection Rybolovlev contains works by Pablo Picasso, Leonardo da Vinci, Mark Rothko, Paul Gauguin, Henri Matisse and Auguste Rodin. The last of the shopping billionaire was the painting of Rothko «№ 6 (purple, green and pink)," for which he paid € 140 million. The deal was agreed in August, 2014. In February 2015, Monaco Bouvier was arrested by the police when he came to the Rybolovlev to discuss the final payment.

Art dealers have been charged with fraud and complicity in money laundering. He was released on bail of € 10 million. Episode alleged fraud prosecution considers sale of paintings and Rothko. In the case of recognizedIa Bouvier guilty faces up to five years in prison for fraud and up to 10 years for the legalization of funds obtained by criminal means.

Charges of money laundering were also presented to the translator Rybolovlev Tanya Rappo, who received a commission from the Bouvier as a mediator. Her lawyer Frank Michel says that the money she received "absolutely legal and reasonable." Bouvier also denied accusations of money laundering. According to him, the payment of commission to the person who introduces the buyer with the seller, is a normal thing in the art business.

According to his lawyer Tatyana BERSHEDA representing the interests Rybolovlev, her client Bouvier considered as a broker, defending its interests during the negotiations with the third party. "He made us believe that we buy paintings directly from their owners, and we pay him a commission," - she explained to the plaintiff's position. Bersheda added that her client called the highest price, which is represented as the minimum price for which the seller agrees.

Bouvier for its part maintains that it has never had a formal kontrakand with Rybolovlev, and he was a regular vendor, not a broker. According to him, 80% of invoices issued to them by Russian businessman, he is listed as the seller. "He made a decision to pay such a price", - said Bouvier in an interview with Bloomberg.

According BERSHEDA, Bouvier surcharge of 2% on most transactions. He explained that it takes a commission not as a mediator but as a fee to cover administrative costs, including insurance and transport costs and pay the state examinations of paintings. It is estimated Bloomberg surveyed experts and art dealers, sellers do not usually charged a fee for the administrative costs, which rarely reach the 2% of the sale price.

Rybolovlev suspected that the art dealer is cheating on him, on the eve of 2015, when he was vacationing on the Caribbean island of Saint Barthelemy. There during lunch in the hotel restaurant mutual friend introduced the Russians Sandy Heller, who was an adviser on art collector and billionaire Steven Cohen. According to two sources familiar with the conversation, we are talking about the art market and, in particular, Amedeo Modigliani painting "Nude on BBCher pillow. " It was found that in 2012 Cohen sold the painting to an unknown buyer for $ 93.5 million. Rybolovlev bought the painting by Bouvier for $ 118 million.

Troubled Russian, according to the agency, he asked Heller to audit and other transactions carried out by a Bouvier. The expert agreed and concluded that the prices of some of the works of art were inadequate. Less than two weeks after the meeting with Heller, according to the agency, Rybolovlev sued Bouvier.

The complaint also referred to a picture of Leonardo da Vinci's "Christ, the savior of the world", the Russian billionaire bought in May 2013 for $ 127.5 million. In Rybolovlev had doubts about the justification of the price, when he read an article in The New York Times, in which an unnamed art -dilery said that the painting was sold for an amount in the range of $ 75 million to $ 80 million.

During interrogation in Monaco Bouvier also he testified that he bought the painting Rothko, for which Rybolovlev agreed to pay € 140 million, a $ 80 million, ie € 80 million cheaper. Art dealer claims that the Russians owe him $ 40 million for the painting, on the basis of the agreedenes. However, Rybolovlev refused to pay, claiming that he had already paid so much more than the price at which it was bought by Bouvier.

Swiss Lawyer David Bitton suggested that the claim Rybolovlev is the only course of his divorce proceedings with Elena Rybolovleva, which began in 2008 and has not yet been completed. In May 2014 a court in Geneva ruled that billionaire to pay ex-wife 4 billion francs ($ 4.2 billion), but he has challenged that decision.

Lawyer Mark Bonnen, representing Rybolovlev said that her ex-husband might try to convince the court that his collection of paintings was overstated as a result to reduce the amount of payments to a former spouse. Bersheda, for his part, stressed that the divorce has nothing to do with the lawsuit against Bouvier as suspicions art dealer honesty Rybolovlev appeared in eight months after the court's decision in favor of his former wife.

In the world ranking of billionaires Forbes Rybolovlev took 156 th and 14 th - among the richest Russians. On the April 28 edition of the estimates his fortune at $ 8,5 billion. Rybolovlev refused to talk with Bloomberg in the preparation of the material, the agency said.