George Ball is suing Scott Cook, the former owner of a Madison Avenue gallery, for selling $5m worth of his artwork but pocketing the proceeds. Cook and his wife have been living in the South of France after having told Ball that they sold his art in London in June. Ball doesn’t seem to have checked up on their claims. Now Cook has confessed that he sold the art and spent the money but doesn’t want to go to jail:
Ball says the Cooks are partners in Cook LLC, whose principal place of business on Madison Avenue in Manhattan “seems to have been closed” about 2 years ago, when the Cooks moved to Florida. He believes the Cooks may be living in Southern France. […] Ball says he made the Cooks his exclusive dealers for more than $10 million worth of purchases of 19th and 20th century art that he made from 1997 to 2000.[…] Cook says he authorized the sale of three Picasso drawings, three Matisse drawings and four other pieces, including a small watercolor by Kandinsky and an ink drawing by Egon Schiele. He says Cook called him in late June to tell him that the auction had been successful, and that two Picassos, three Matisses, a Klee, the Kandinsky, the Schiele, and a piece by Paul Delvaux had been sold, for a total of 3,390,000 euros, or $5.3 million.
Collector Sues Dealer for $5M in Missing Picassos, Matisses, Klee … (Courthouse News Service)