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Art dealer Andy Valmorbida makes “extremely unusual” admissions in alleged fraud case, court …

By on October 26, 2021 0

View of the island of Jersey showing Mont Orgueil, built in the 13th century.

Melbourne-born art dealer Andrew (Andy) Valmorbida, a descendant of a family dynasty of Italian imports in Australia, allegedly admitted to defrauding last May involving several million dollars in works of art. A judgment was recently issued following the civil case in the offshore tax haven of Jersey, part of the Channel Islands.

Suspected fraudulent agreements with works of art by Francis Bacon and Jean-Michel Basquiat as well as “attempts to conceal his tax residence” were first mentioned in a civil case. Former hedge fund manager Christian Hore sued 42-year-old Valmorbida for unpaid debts.

Age reports in “a decision delivered on September 30, the judges of the Royal Court of Jersey found that Mr. Valmorbida admitted on cross-examination to a series of frauds involving multi-million dollar works of art by Bacon and Basquiat, as well as George Condo and Frank Auerbach. “

“When he was cross-examined, he was found to be dishonest, evasive and accepted that he had both used and created false documents in order to obtain loans from four lenders on the grounds that he owned works of art which, in each case, were largely not his, ”the court concluded.

“The judges concluded that Mr. Valmorbida did not own the paintings, but used false documents to suggest that he did, and that he then used the paintings as collateral to obtain personal loans worth over $ 10 million from major international art trading houses, including Sotheby’s, “reports Age.

He also “returned” works of art, allegedly altering “$ 200,000 bills” twice to trick buyers into believing they were paying “cost price” for works of value. over $ 1 million each, then pocketed the difference. “

Richard Hambleton, “Shadowman” Painting, Lower Manhattan, New York, 1982.

Noting that some of the art dealer’s confessions were “extremely unusual“, the tribunal recently issued its findings, adding that” it is in the public interest that someone with the profile of Mr. Valmorbida be exposed to his connections. “

A figure of the socialite and the art world in New York and now based in London, Valmorbida is known for having revived the career of street artist Richard Hambleton with an exhibition and also for having purchased the copyright to his work, in a announced a million dollar deal negotiated with the artist before his death in 2017.

Just last week, the New York Times referred to Valmorbida’s efforts in a profile of street artist Nullbureau, who reproduced Hambleton’s iconic “Shadowman” figures around Manhattan. Some of Nullbureau’s Shadowman-like renderings sported QR stickers directed to a tab on the art dealer’s Hambleton site. Valmorbida said The temperature he is currently working on “The Hambleton Experience”, an immersive attraction of the artist’s work.

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