The Helly Nahmad Gallery on Madison Avenue, got raided this morning by the FBI.
The Nahmad family is one of the richest and most powerful art-dealing dynasties in the world.
The reason being a possible $100+ million money-laundering case against illegal gambling rings operated by Russian organized crime, the funds entered US via Cyprus shell companies, somehow the art dealing family have got involved in the evolving money laundering case.
The Nahmad family art inventory takes up 15,000 square feet of a duty-free building next to Geneva’s international airport. The warehouse in 2007 contained between 4,500 and 5,000 works of art, worth between $3-4 billion at the time. (The holdings included 300 Picassos, worth some $900 million.) they are among the world’s most influential megadealers of modern and impressionist art. They boast an arsenal of well-known names, from Monet and Matisse to Renoir and Rothko. While they conduct most of their buying and selling through the Sotheby’s and Christie’s auction houses, a good deal of art is also sold though Helly’s New York gallery, as well as the gallery of a cousin (also named Helly Nahmad) in London.
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