The de Sole trial to determine whether Ann Freedman and Knoedler Galleries sold fake paintings in good faith or as part of a knowing scheme to defraud buyers opened yesterday with jury selection and the de Sole’s lawyer, Emily Reisbaum, making their case.
Ms. Freedman, she said, had made what Ms. Reisbaum called “suspicious payments” to Ms. Rosales on 28 occasions — cash payments of $9,000, just below the level at which banks must inform the federal government of a large cash transaction. (Addressing that assertion after the court session had ended, Luke Nikas, a lawyer for Ms. Freedman, said that payments to Ms. Rosales were in no way secretive or hidden, adding, “Knoedler recorded every single cash payment to Rosales on its books and records, which were audited by one of the finest accounting firms in the country.”)
Ms. Freedman and Knoedler also provided changing provenances to buyers, Ms. Reisbaum went on to tell the jurors, in an apparent effort to explain where paintings came from.
“There was even a Pollock with a misspelled signature,” she told the jurors.
Trial Begins in Art Forgery Case Against Knoedler Gallery (The New York Times)