Business

Geneva prosecutor withdraws criminal investigation in $ 2 billion art dispute

The Geneva Prosecutor’s Office has withdrawn the criminal investigation of Swiss businessman Yves Bouvier, who was involved in a lengthy battle with Russian billionaires and art collectors over the acquisition of $ 2 billion of works of art.

This was the last unsolved criminal case initiated by collector Dmitry E. Livoroflev in a dispute with one of the longest and most bitter entanglements in the art world, Mr. Bouvier. Singapore, Paris, Monaco, Geneva.

The prosecutor decided that there was insufficient evidence to proceed with the prosecution and terminated all current criminal proceedings against Mr. Bouvier due to a dispute with Mr. Rivoroflev. In a statement, Bouvier called this a “complete victory” and said the decision “means the end of a six-year nightmare.” The oligarchy tried to destroy me for reasons that had nothing to do with my art dealership, but failed. “

But Livoroflev’s lawyer said it wasn’t the end and he intended to sue.

In a statement, his lawyer still reasonably determined whether the proceedings against Mr. Bouvier were acting on behalf of Mr. Rivoroflev or as an independent art dealer. Suggested that it was not done. “It is imperative that the art world properly consider this of the most serious incidents it has ever known and ultimately determine its benefits,” they said.

The messy battle began six years ago after Boubie helped Livoroflev buy 38 world-class works of art for $ 2 billion in about 12 years.

These included famous works such as “The Savior,” a portrayal of Christ that originated from Leonardo da Vinci.

Livoroflev said in a court document that he believed that Boubie was acting as a transaction agent and adviser, and that he had paid Boubie for his services. But later he said he discovered that Mr. Bouvier had purchased many items in advance and turned them over to him with a billion-dollar markup.

Bouvier claims in court documents that he is neither an agent nor an adviser, and instead, like any other art dealer, has the right to charge Rybolovlev the price he wants for the art he sells to his clients. Yes, Rybolovlev was ready to pay.

Bouvier was arrested in Monaco in early 2015 following a criminal accusation by Rybolovlev.Judge of the Court of Appeals in Monaco Throw away all charges, In 2019, fraud and money laundering issues arose after Bouvier’s investigation concluded that it was done in a biased and unfair manner.The ruling is Supported by the High Court last year.

In the case of Geneva, which was also charged with fraud and money laundering, prosecutors quoted Monaco’s findings and said they were denied the right to a fair trial in Geneva. According to the ruling, a Monaco court found that “plaintiffs constantly and unacceptably interfered in the course of the investigation, depriving Eve Bubier of his right to a fair trial.” Much of the evidence used in Geneva was produced by the same investigation.

The decision was signed by Yves Berthossa of the Geneva Public Prosecutor’s Office on Wednesday and received by Mr. Bouvier’s representative on Thursday. His representative publicly announced the decision on Friday, which was confirmed by Mr. Livoroflev’s representative.

The decision also discussed the central issue of whether Mr. Bouvier was acting as an agent or dealer on its own, and found that the fraud charges were “contradictory by many factors.”

Some of the early acquisitions involved sales contracts, suggesting that Mr. Bouvier was acting as an art owner rather than just an agent, with two men after their first sale. There was no indication that it changed the formal nature of the legal relationship. The prosecution said in a ruling.

In addition, the prosecution said the 2% commission paid by Mr. Livoroflev was significantly lower than the commission normally charged by other brokers such as auction houses. Meanwhile, Mr. Bouvier also performed services that go beyond the services of regular agencies, such as warranty. The credibility of the work, it said in the ruling.

Meanwhile, an email between Mr. Bouvier and Mr. Livoroflev suggests that he is presenting himself as an agent, he said.

“There is still some gray area regarding the legal nature of the relationship between the parties, but even assuming Eve Bubier was the plaintiff’s agent, the objective component of the crime is not satisfied. “Hmm,” the ruling said. ..

In Monaco, another investigation is underway on Mr. Bouvier’s alleged corruption against Mr. Livoroflev.

The investigation depends on Question about whether Livoroflev took advantage of the extravagant perks to join Monaco law enforcement officers as an ally of a fierce feud with Bouvier.

Livoroflev also has problems with Sotheby’s role as part of the art sale of documents submitted to court in Manhattan’s federal court. Twelve of the 38 paintings were originally purchased by Mr. Bouvier for sale arranged by Sotheby’s, but were handed over to Mr. Livoroflev.Sotheby’s Said That wasn’t a bad thing, and it was in the dark about Mr Boubie’s intentions.

Geneva prosecutor withdraws criminal investigation in $ 2 billion art dispute

Source link Geneva prosecutor withdraws criminal investigation in $ 2 billion art dispute

Back to top button