The now long-running saga of Perry Rubenstein’s bankruptcy and failure to pay collector Michael Ovitz the proceeds from sales of art by Richard Prince and Takashi Murakami is coming to an end as he plead no contest to felony charges. Variety has a succinct summation of what’s going on. The Los Angeles Times goes into further detail about all of the disrupted deals, including the sale of a Takashi Murakami piece (above) now owned by the Broad :
Rubenstein is scheduled to be sentenced on May 22. Under the plea agreement, Rubenstein will face 180 days in jail and three years of probation. He is expected to serve the sentence in a private jail facility. The judge is also expected to impose restitution of $1.14 million, though Rubenstein is expected to actually pay only $167,500.
Ovitz sued the dealer in 2013. According to the suit, Ovitz placed two Richard Prince works, “Nobody’s Home” and “Untitled (de Kooning),” for sale on consignment with the Perry Rubenstein Gallery. Ovitz alleged that Rubenstein sold “Nobody’s Home” without his permission for $475,000 — below the agreed upon $575,000 minimum — and then did not turn over the proceeds. Ovitz also alleged that Rubenstein agreed to sell “Untitled (de Kooning)” to a Mexican buyer with net proceeds of $500,000 to Ovitz. But, according to Ovitz, Rubenstein later said the buyer was slow on delivering the payment. Ovitz ultimately demanded the return of the painting but was refused, according to the suit.