Yes, we have another art dealer’s fall from grace. According to Chris Greenwood and Rebecca Camber’s article in the Daily Mail, Timothy Sammons, a former Sotheby’s director, is accused of illicitly selling an extraordinary catalogue by artists including Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall and Henri Moore. He is set to be extradited to the US where he could face 25 years in jail for allegedly swindling masterpieces worth more than £8 million from wealthy clients. They go on to report that: Sammons was declared bankrupt in January, had his passport confiscated and saw his £4 million home in Primrose Hill in North London repossessed after he defaulted on loans.
Basically, Sammons was taking works from one collector, selling them and using the money to pay other collectors (whose works he sold in the past) and finance his extravagant lifestyle … a classic Ponzi scheme.
What really caught my attention was this paragraph: Sammons is currently staying in a friend’s basement away from his wife, who is living on handouts from friends and receives some of the £15,000 a year Sammons still gets advising clients. So, there are still people who are paying him for advice? Come on!