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February 07, 2008

31-count indictment of former Superintendent of Manhattan Armory

Corruption in NYC?? Good Heavens... Impossible!   Mafia.. what Mafia..there's no Mafia !

Sopranos_hell_hath_no_fury_like_the In total NYC fashion.. NY Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo has accused former superintendent of the Manhattan Armory of extorting money from fair organizers.

The Pulse Contemporary Art Fair paid some $30,000 in cash and goods! Geeeze... No wonder the prices Those Pulse Dealers charged for brand spanking new wet contemporary art were so high!

It probably didn't help the gallery booth prices either !!

Anyway.. You can't make this stuff up any better than this..   (photo by Annie Liebovitz, from The Sopranos, "Hell hath no fury like the family", At MAO think.. Ms Liebovitz was going after something like Delacroix's "Barque of Dante." )

Here's a more detailed story by Philip Boroff filed today on Bloomberg News.

---------------------------------------------------------------

Pulse Fair Was Forced to Pay Bribe for Armory Use, Cuomo Says, 2008-02-07 00:10 (New York)
By Philip Boroff
     Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- The Pulse contemporary-art fair next
month may find its expenses cut in one area. New York Attorney
General Andrew Cuomo has accused the former superintendent of
the state-owned Manhattan armory where the fair was held last
year of extorting money from organizers and soliciting a bribe.
     In a 31-count indictment filed in New York State Supreme
Court, James Jackson was accused of receiving more than $30,000
in cash and goods from Pulse, Marc Jacobs fashion shows and the
New York International Carpet Show. Jackson pleaded not guilty.
     Deputy Attorney General Ellen Biben said in a press
conference yesterday that Jackson demanded payoffs to guarantee
the dates Marc Jacobs wanted for his shows. Jackson allegedly
extorted money from Jacobs through public-relations firm KCD,
from 2000 to 2007. Jackson is charged in connection with Pulse
and the carpet show for 2007. Jackson's lawyer, Alan Abramson,
declined to comment.
     Details of the alleged extortion of money from Pulse, which
specializes in art that's more affordable than the latest by
Damien Hirst, weren't available. A Pulse spokesman declined to
comment.
     The 69th Regiment Armory, bounded by 25th and 26th streets
and Lexington and Park avenues, rents for about $6,000 a day,
excluding utilities, security and insurance charges, according
to the Attorney General's office.
     Cuomo said yesterday: ``If anyone believes they have to pay
off or offer a gratuity to access state space, let us know,
because that is a crime. It's not a way of doing business. It's
not OK.''
     This year's Pulse, which begins March 27, will be held at
Pier 40 on the far west side of Manhattan.
--Editors: Jeffrey Burke, Yvette Ferreol.

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MAO:
Great Post!
The Mafia finally uncovered in the Art business.Here is another scandal going on now!
A Warhol Surfaces and Is Headed for Court
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Del.icio.usDiggFacebookNewsvinePermalinkBy ANEMONA HARTOCOLLIS
Published: February 6, 2008
Last September, a man who has admittedly lived a hard-knock life walked into Christie’s auction house with an Andy Warhol painting of a dollar sign and asked to have it put up for sale.
Martin Lawrence Galleries
A 1981 Andy Warhol was reported stolen in SoHo in 1998. A Brooklyn man recently took it to an auction house to sell it.
Though one can never judge by appearances, especially when it comes to art lovers, something about this particular art lover, Jason Beltrez, seemed a little bit off to the staff at Christie’s.

They accepted the painting but immediately contacted the Art Loss Register, the world’s largest private databank of lost and stolen art, to make sure it was legitimate.

“Bingo,” as Chris Marinello, director and general counsel of the register’s New York office put it Tuesday.

The painting was one of two Warhol dollar-sign paintings, created in 1981, measuring about 16 by 20 inches, that disappeared from the walls of the Martin Lawrence Galleries in SoHo on Valentine’s Day in 1998.

Now the gallery is suing Mr. Beltrez to get the painting back, claiming it has clear title under the law. But Mr. Beltrez, 44, has hired a lawyer and is fighting back, casting himself as an honest man, a Brooklyn homeowner, father of three children and former grocery store manager who got lucky.

He says he bought the painting for $180 at a New Jersey flea market, and deserves either to get it back or to be rewarded. He invokes the law of the street — finders keepers, losers weepers.

“It’s the big guy trying to get over the little guy,” Mr. Beltrez, who said he had managed a C-town supermarket in the Bronx until about a year and a half ago. He is unemployed now.

Mr. Marinello, of the art register, said that he sympathized with Mr. Beltrez’s position, but that the law was against him. “I tried to negotiate with Mr. Beltrez,” Mr. Marinello said Tuesday. “When it was clear that he did not understand, I urged him to get a lawyer. I even spoke to his social worker in Brooklyn.”

The gallery and Christie’s through their lawyers declined to comment.

Mr. Beltrez, interviewed at his three-story house in Windsor Terrace, said he had found the painting, a gold and crimson image of a dollar sign, at a flea market outside the Holland Tunnel in New Jersey in the mid-1990s. He said he used to go there because he was a Giants fan and a collector of Lalique and Baccarat crystal.

“It was very fiery,” he said. “I thought it would bring me luck.”

He hung it in a place of honor between two green-curtained windows and across from a crimson couch in his living room.

His luck has not been so good, though. After a death in the family about nine months ago, he said, he began abusing intravenous drugs and went into drug rehabilitation — hence the social worker.

Then, he said, a friend recognized the painting as having been painted by “the Campbell’s soup guy,” and offered him $40,000 for it.

Instead, Mr. Beltrez took the painting to Christie’s, thinking it was “the right thing” to do.

Mr. Beltrez admitted that there were some odd coincidences in this case. He was raised on Broome Street a few blocks from the gallery at 457 West Broadway, where the painting was stolen in 1998. Some public records show he lived there at that time, though Mr. Beltrez said he moved in 1989.

Mr. Marinello said that the police investigation of the theft was continuing but that no criminal charges had been filed.

Mr. Beltrez said he expected to be vindicated. “This country is only fair for people lined in green,” he said. “I know I’m the good guy.”

"The Pulse Contemporary Art Fair paid some $30,000 in cash and goods!"

That is NOT what the Bloomberg article says!! $30k+ is the TOTAL amount:

"James Jackson was accused of receiving more than $30,000
in cash and goods from Pulse, Marc Jacobs fashion shows and the New York International Carpet Show."

Furthermore:

"Details of the alleged extortion of money from Pulse...weren't available."

Ah.. you're 100% correct DC...

Sorry... MAO's mistake.

But, Now MAO just wonders...

Between PULSE, Marc Jacobs, and those Carpet people..

Who, most likely, paid $30k in cold CASH, and who gave up the GOODS (like.. free carpet samples and fashion swag)??

Hmmm..Not sure...

northern continues royal risk compliance forward

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