Monday, May 13, 2013

"It is hard to imagine a business more custom-made for money laundering" (UPDATED 3X)

Patricia Cohen has a front-page story in today's New York Times on the increase in art-related money laundering.

The Art Market Monitor says it's "an open secret in the art world."

UPDATE:  Charlotte Burns and Melanie Gerlis have a related story in The Art Newspaper.

UPDATE 2:  Fox Rothschild's Daniel Schnapp:  "One important question is whether an innocent purchaser or seller of laundered art has any right to receive back the work or the funds used in the sale of the work. Certainly a major concern would be if the art is forfeited by the government.   The artwork is then potentially subject to the criminal proceedings against the accused money launderer and a long delay in recovering either the work or the funds may be inevitable."

UPDATE 3:  Asher Edelman comments:  "The article’s focus is that there are no safeguards on money laundering in the art market. However, the Times is mistaken. The art market and its participants are subject to the same money laundering, tax evasion, fraud, and other laws applying to transactions as any other business."