Merkin Collection

Merkin, caught in Madoff's web, sells his art collection

After acquiring a prized group of Mark Rothko paintings and Alberto Giacometti sculptures from profits he made by investing his clients money in Bernard Madoff’s fraudulent fund, financier Ezra Merkin has been forced to sell the core works of his coveted art collection. Sued by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, Merkin entered into a sales contract, which is still subject to approval, that puts the $310 million sale amount in escrow, pending the outcome of the lawsuit. The sale will yield about $191 million, after liens, taxes and fees. “This will preserve assets that, if our litigation is successful, will provide restitution to victims of Mr. Merkin’s alleged fraud,” Cuomo said.