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Madoff Investor’s Artwork Sale Raises Questions

Madoff Investor’s Artwork Sale Raises Questions

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ArtInfo reports on an art sale at the heart of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme:

An investor and self-proclaimed victim in Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme sold an art collection filled with Mark Rothko paintings for $310 million last month, and some of the details of the transaction are raising questions — particularly who the seller’s agent is. J. Ezra Merkin’s involvement with Madoff brought him a loss of $3.4 million in a charitable trust and more than $10 million in personal funds. On top of that, he’s being sued by New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo for concealing his $2.4 billion investment with Madoff; the suit wants Merkin’s art collection and other assets to compensate his many wiped-out investors. What’s surprising some art dealers is that the artworks’ sale to a still-unknown buyer generated $37.5 million in fees, with the unidentified agent receiving a sizable $26.5 million. – from ArtInfo