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Auction House Sotheby Beat Russian Oligarch In Art Fraud Trial Now Notice of $109545 Costs

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon

SDNY COURTHOUSE, May 2 –  Sotheby's defrauded two British Virgin Islands companies controlled by Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev, the companies alleged in a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York that Inner City Press first reported on in 2020. It involved inflated art prices.

On July 15, 2020 SDNY Judge Jesse M. Furman held a proceeding. Inner City Press covered it.  

Judge Furman ordered that defendants "shall submit a copy of the settlement agreement by email to the Court for in camera review."

Jump cut to January 4, 2024, the Thursday before a Monday trial to last the rest of the month. Plaintiff's counsel argued to have the BVI company, Accent Delight International, listed in the Sotheby's opening demonstratives, and that no reference be made to Rybolovlev's "lieutenant," saying that term connotes organized crime.

Judge Furman denied the motion, saying it mostly connotes the military.

On January 8, Inner City Press live tweeted the opening statements, here

On Saturday January 13 Rybolovlev's lawyers filed that "the Court should preclude hearsay testimony from Samuel Valette and Alex Bell about what the sellers of the Modigliani Tête and Da Vinci Salvator Mundi allegedly said to them about their motivations for selling the works or accepting the prices Bouvier offered." Letter on Patreon here

On January 30, the jury came back with a verdict for Sotheby's (not liable for aiding and abetting) on all four counts.

On May 2, 2024, this: "TAXATION OF COSTS as to [713] Bill of Costs Notice of Taxation. Costs are taxed on 5/2/2024 in favor of Sotheby's and Sotheby's Inc. against Accent Delight International Ltd. in the amount of $109,544.69. Done on submission. Objection filed."

More on Substack here


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