Roger Siefert provided testimony in an art forgery trial in Manhattan Federal District Court, which has since been followed by a settlement by one of the defendants in the case.
Knoedler & Company, a 165-year old art gallery, which was once New York’s oldest, and its former president, Ann Freedman, have been accused of selling more than 30 pieces of forged artworks supplied by a Long Island art dealer. Roger testified on behalf of Domenico and Elenore De Sole, who purchased what they believed to be an authentic Mark Rothko painting from Knoedler for $8.3 million in 2004. The De Soles sued the gallery and Freedman when they discovered the painting was a fake.
StoneTurn’s team – Roger and Michel Hagenaar – analyzed Knoedler’s financial records and determined that, if not for the sale of forged artworks, Knoedler would have been an unprofitable enterprise during most of the years it sold the counterfeits. At trial, Roger also provided testimony with respect to Freedman’s multi-million dollar personal gains from sales of the paintings in question, highlighting consistent increases in her profit-sharing arrangement with the gallery over almost two decades. It was reported on Feb. 7 that Freedman reached a settlement with the De Soles; terms have not been disclosed.
Read The New York Times’ report on the high-profile lawsuit, including Roger’s testimony.
Read the follow-up story on the settlement.