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July 5, 2011

Courthouse News Service Reports from the Federal Court in Manhattan that a Gallery has been sued for $6.5 million for "overvalued and phony" Russian paintingsvaluation of Russian paintings

Courthouse News Service, a Pasadena, California-based news organization, has reported that a Manhattan Gallery has been sued for $6.5 million for "overvalued and phony" Russian paintings by a Luxembourg company, Arthur Properties.

Philip A. Janquart, the reporter, writes:
Arthur Properties, of Luxembourg, claims that Anatoly Bekkerman and his ABA Gallery conspired "in a multipronged and multifaceted intensive campaign to defraud" it for 18 pieces of 19th and 20th century Russian art, four of which were forged and the others being "of substantially lesser value than Bekkerman had represented." 
"ABA is an art gallery specializing in 19th and 20th century Russian art," the complaint states. "According to its website, 'for over thirty years ABA Gallery has been dealing in the finest examples of nineteenth and early twentieth century Russian painting and sculpture.' 'During that time, the gallery has placed important and rare works of art in major public and private collections throughout Europe and the United States.'" 
Arthur Properties claims that Bekkerman schemed with others, including his own daughter, to defraud Arthur's buying agent, Oleksandr Savchuk, for the "series of paintings purported to be by famous Russian artists."
The people behind Arthur Properties were not identified.  Famous and rich Russians and an auction house has been mentioned in the lawsuit, so this should continue to receive more press.