Ezra Chowaiki is in jail for defrauding his clients but unwinding the effects of his fraudulent dealing is taking some time. Chowaiki sold a $1.2m Chagall to a client, Rick Silver, who was induced to leave the work with Chowaiki who then not only took out a loan using the painting as partial collateral but also sold the painting to a group of London dealers.
As a new lawsuit filed to get those dealers to return the painting shows, the dealers grew impatient waiting for the painting to be delivered. What they did not know was that Chowaiki had to get the picture out of hock before he could send it to them.
In the end, the dealers got the painting just a few days before Chowaiki declared bankruptcy. Nonetheless, they’ve been reluctant to return the picture either because they sold it on to an unsuspecting buyer or they simply don’t want to lose their shares in the painting.
As a result, they’ve been sued in Manhattan court.