Last year, Steve Cohen made a great deal. He sold a nude painting by Amadeo Modigliani to an anonymous buyer for $US93.5 million.
But now that buyer, Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev, is suing the art broker, Yves Bouvier, for fraud and money laundering because he unknowingly paid $US22 million more than market value, Forbes reports.
Rybolovlev, who paid $US118 million for the piece, reportedly found out about the price discrepancy from Steve Cohen’s art advisor at a New Year’s Eve party last year. The advisor had no idea that Rybolovlev, who was already having a pretty bad 2014 after settling a very public divorce battle for $US4.5 billion, was the anonymous buyer.
The Russian billionaire then filed a suit in Monaco, and in February, helped police set up an ambush to arrest Bouvier. (Bouvier thought he was meeting Rybolovlev to discuss purchasing a Mark Rothko painting.)
In another incident, Bouvier allegedly flipped a Leonardo Da Vinci piece, purchasing it for $US75-80 million and reselling it to Rybolovlev for $US127.5 million.
Stay tuned for more juicy details as the scandal continues to unfold.