Matthew Green resigned from his father’s art businesses six years ago, according to The Art Newspaper, and recently created a company to trade art. One of his first deals was meant to be part of an avowed money-laundering scheme, the Federal indictment (above) charges. From the court papers, Green was a terrible at money laundering because he charged very little for the huge risk he was taking and left an obvious paper trail that’s been used to indict him.
First, here’s The Art Newspaper on Green’s business:
[He is] the owner of Mayfair Fine Art Limited in London, which was established on 9 October 2017. Green is the son of the well-known London art dealer Richard Green, and was previously a director of Richard Green & Sons Holdings Ltd, Richard Green (Fine Paintings) and Richard Green & Sons Ltd, but resigned from all three directorships in December 2012, according to Companies House.
Then, in February, Green was introduced to a person looking to launder money from an illegal stock scheme. Green proposed selling the person a Picasso for £6.7m which Green would later sell to someone else and then give the person back his £6.7m minus a 5% commission.
Green doesn’t seem to know that price for laundering money is much higher than 5% which definitely isn’t worth the risk if it gets you indicted after being in business all of three months. Worse still, Green and his partners don’t seem to be the swiftest criminals. They boasted that the art market is unregulated but then created a scheme that seems to have had little to do with the art market itself.
The art sale is only one of several money-laundering venues that the person was offered. Offshore banks and real estate deals figure prominently in the indictment. What’s more, Green’s scheme could have been conducted in just about any commercial transaction. And, since the payment for the Picasso was due March 6, 2018, we’ll never know if Green was actually capable of pulling off the sale at the price he claims or would have survived any kind of audit.
Picasso painting offered in money-laundering scheme, US feds say (The Art Newspaper)