It’s not clear whether the forensic accountant’s testimony on Friday contributed to Ann Freedman’s decision to settle her part of the de Sole case, but the testimony did have impact. Knoedler’s lawyers blithely suggest that Freedman and the gallery would simply have sold other works had they not sold the Rosales fakes.
In the art market, access to good work to sell is one of the most important assets a gallery can have. The lack of better sources of high quality work to sell would seem to be a central issue in the scale of the fraud. Simply put, if Knoedler had access to better work, they surely would have made those sales.
Here’s the New York Times’s take on the testimony:
Without the $32.7 million in net income from the so-called Rosales works, “Knoedler would not have been a profitable enterprise,” Mr. Siefert testified. The gallery’s cumulative deficit for that period would have been about $3 million, he said.
But lawyers for Ms. Freedman and Knoedler challenged his conclusion, suggesting, among other things, that if the gallery had not spent its time selling the Rosales works it would have focused on selling other works that could have made up any deficit.