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Statement in relation to closing of proceedings against Bouvier in Monaco

On Wednesday the Monaco Court of Cassation put an end to the Rybolovlev against Bouvier proceedings in Monaco, upholding the December decision of the Court of Appeal.

A reminder of what the case for fraud and money laundering was all about. Yves Bouvier was accused by Rybolovlev of having benefited, between 2003 and 2015, by several hundred million euros of undue commissions on the purchase of works of art.

Dimitri Rybolovlev’s sold one of them (via one of his corporate entities) – namely the unique DaVinci painting Salvator Mundi. It was sold for a world record auction price of 450 million dollars. This has drawn even more of the world’s attention to the legal tussle over the art that Bouvier sold. Dmitri Rybolovlev maintains that he had instructed (“mandated”) the Swiss art dealer to negotiate at the best price as opposed to Bouvier allegedly buying at lower prices for himself and subsequently making a profit when reselling to his Russian client.

closing proceedings against Bouvier in Monaco
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In answer to the court decision Rybolovlev’s attorneys Mr. Hervé Temime and Mr. Thomas Giaccardi provided Hello Monaco with the following statement:

Statement of Me Hervé TEMIME and Me Thomas GIACCARDI Attorneys for Dmitriy RYBOLOVLEV and RYBOLOVLEV family companies:

The Monaco Court of Revision has confirmed, for procedural reasons, the decision rendered by the Court of Appeal in relation to the investigation carried out against Yves BOUVIER and Tania RAPPO for fraud and money laundering following the complaint filed by our clients in January 2015. As a reminder, Yves BOUVIER was charged in February 2015 for frauds committed during 3 transactions (the purchase by our clients of 3 paintings by DA VINCI, GAUGUIN and ROTHKO).

The case in Monaco therefore ends.

This outcome has come about for purely procedural reasons – and not because of an absence of evidence against Yves BOUVIER.

Criminal proceedings are still underway in Geneva, where Yves BOUVIER has been charged namely with fraud, abuse of trust and money laundering for having defrauded our clients in 38 transactions over 12 years (he was only charged in Monaco in relation to 3 transactions). Yves BOUVIER will have to answer these charges, which are more serious than those pursued in Monaco. Over the past six months, several hearings have been carried out in Geneva, including one on June 29. This shows that the investigation is progressing despite the limitations connected to the pandemic, and the delaying tactics of Yves BOUVIER.

As a reminder, from 2003 to 2015 Yves BOUVIER was mandated by RYBOLOVLEV family companies to arrange for the acquisition of numerous works of art. He made them believe that he was negotiating the best price for them with the owners of the works when, in reality, he was negotiating to maximize his own profit. He described to them in detail purely imaginary negotiations, whereas he had already negotiated – for himself – a price much lower than that which he claimed to have managed to obtain. Deceived by this fraudulent scheme, the companies of the RYBOLOVLEV family paid him, for twelve years, hundreds of millions of euros in unauthorized markups.

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