One of the big Dark Side stories of 2017 was, and still is, the Dmitry Rybolovlev vs Yves Bouvier lawsuit. Now, another Russian billionaire and his son are suing an art dealer on charges of inflating prices and defrauding them of millions.
According to The Art Newspaper, Vladimir Scherbakov, the founder of Russia’s second largest car manufacturer, Avtotor, and his son Sergei, filed a fraud complaint in 2015 against Thierry Hobaica. The criminal case recently opened in Geneva with the Scherbokov’s claiming that Hobaica, who was contracted as their personal broker for a fixed fee, overcharged them.
The Scherbakov’s art collection is valued at about €700m and includes works by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Alberto Giacometti … many of which were purchased through Hobaica. Court documents reveal that Hobaica may have pocketed €38m in commission from the sales using off-shore bank accounts to disguise the profits. Hobaica claims the accounts were used to protect his client’s privacy.