On January 22, 2012, Robert Scott Cook, a Madison Avenue art dealer, was charged for allegedly defrauding a client of 16 artworks by Picasso, Manet, Matisse, Renoir and others worth more than $4.2 million. Cook, a principle of Cook Fine Art (2005-2011),
sold watercolors, drawings and photographs to galleries and auction houses behind the owner’s back for years. Sales took place over a course of six years and they were done without owner’s consent or to his benefit as proceeds were never shared. According to the F.B.I.’s assistant director in charge in New York, Janice K. Fedarcyk, “Mr. Cook is a crook.” If convicted he faces a maximum of 20 years in jail and a $250,000 fine.
Cook’s attorney, James Eisenhower, was reported as saying that his client was trying to raise $1 million to repay the consignor and “that Cook hoped to avoid being prosecuted.”
Source: New York Times Blog; Huffington Post.