Greenwich investment manager Richard C. McKenzie Jr. and his nonprofit art organization Seven Bridges Foundation have reportedly filed a lawsuit against Robert Fishko and his Manhattan art gallery, Forum Gallery, for allegedly defrauding the foundation out of more than $3.5 million.
The lawsuit alleges that Fishko sold artwork to Seven Bridges at inflated prices and then tacked on commissions to the inflated rice, according to a report in the Greenwich Time. The alleged price gauging took place over a period of several years and involves about three quarters of the Foundation's collection, according to the report.
According to the suit, McKenzie and Seven Bridges purchased 110 works of art for a total of about $11.8 million from Fishko. In addition to requesting $3.54 million in damages, the suit seeks punitive damages of more than $10 million, according to the report.
"The tragedy of this lawsuit is that Seven Bridges Foundation was set up to help artists who have the potential but not the means to further their careers," Eric D. Grayson, a Greenwich attorney who is representing McKenzie and Seven Bridges, told the Greenwich Time.
Fishko's attorney, Andrew Nevas, reportedly told the Wall Street Journal that McKenzie's claim is "without merit."
Meanwhile the Forum Gallery has launched its own lawsuit against Seven Bridges, asserting that the dispute over the purchases was resolved in a March 2011 agreement, according to the report.
For more, check out the report in the Greenwich Time.