Facing Madoff Lawsuits, Merkin Sells Art Collection

Jul 1 2009 | 12:56pm ET

Buffeted by lawsuits stemming from the losses suffered by his Bernard Madoff feeder hedge funds, J. Ezra Merkin is selling his art collection.

Merkin, the former chairman of GMAC Financial Services and a longtime friend of the convicted Ponzi schemer, who this week was sentenced to 150 years in prison for his $65 billion fraud, agreed to sell his collection—as a whole—to an anonymous buyer for $310 million. Merkin’s collection includes several paintings by Mark Rothko and sculptures by Alberto Giacometti, according to a legal filing yesterday.

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, one of many suing Merkin and his three Madoff feeder funds, said the proceeds from the sale will be held in escrow, pending the result of the fraud lawsuit.

“This will preserve assets that, if our litigation is successful, will provide restitution to victims of Mr. Merkin’s alleged fraud,” Cuomo said.

Merkin’s Ascot Patners, Ariel Fund and Gabriel Capital Corp. lost some $2.4 billion in the Madoff scam, and Merkin has already turned the three funds over to receivers under an agreement with Cuomo’s office. But he has maintained his innocence in the several suits filed against him, saying that he was as surprised as anyone else to discover that his friend had been running the biggest financial fraud in history.

RELATED ARTICLES:

SPECIAL COVERAGE: The Bernard Madoff Scandal


In Depth

Q&A: Old Hill's Stone On Private Debt, P2P And Credit Bubbles

Jun 6 2017 | 7:52pm ET

While institutional capital continues to flow into the broader private debt sector...

Lifestyle

CFA Institute To Add Computer Science To Exam Curriculum

May 24 2017 | 9:25pm ET

Starting in 2019, financial industry executives sitting for the coveted Chartered...

Guest Contributor

Steinbrugge: Asia-Focused Hedge Funds Offer Great Opportunities

Jun 23 2017 | 3:33pm ET

Emerging market strategies have outperformed their developed-market peers for five...

 

From the current issue of