Some details of the Yves Bouvier case are coming out. Bouvier’s lawyers issued a statement on Friday putting the case in the context of venue shopping over the valuation of his art collection for the purposes of his record-breaking divorce settlement. In other words, Bouvier’s lawyers are saying that Rybolovlev is hoping Monaco can give him relief from the valuation of his art collection (and therefore how much cash he needs to raise to pay his wife) by claiming fraud:
Sous couvert de trusts chypriotes ou de sociétés étrangères Monsieur Dimitri Rybolovlev se réclame à Monaco de la propriété de tableaux, propriété que pour les besoins de son divorce il conteste pourtant devant les juridictions genevoises. Il allègue à propos de leur vente, conclue en bonne et due forme, des manœuvres imaginaires qui résultent de l’évaluation unilatérale et hautement contestable qu’il en propose.
Geneva’s Le Temps adds some anonymous speculation that Bouvier was taking too much money by acting as intermediary on transactions:
According to a source close to the case, to motivate his complaint, the complainant would have invoked a purchasing system and sale of paintings through offshore companies, orchestrated by Yves Bouvier. In essence, the complainant would have developed the following argument: shell companies being the legal owners of the works stored at Ports francs, Yves Bouvier have taken margins on transactions between buyers and sellers who could not verify amounts actually paid or received since the parties were unaware of each other’s identities.
Reportedly, Dmitry Rybolovlev claims to have found out about roses after a chance meeting with the seller of a work acquired through Yves Bouvier. Their discussion showing undue margin imposed by the intermediary.