'Future Science Versus the Man' by Jean-Michael Basquiat
‘Future Science Versus the Man’ by Jean-Michael Basquiat ()

Finding that an art dealer skimmed $1 million off the sale of a $6.5 million painting, a state judge in Manhattan ordered her to pay back the “secret profits” and then some.

Commercial Division Justice Charles Ramos granted Michael Schulhof’s request for summary judgment against Lisa Jacobs, who facilitated the sale of a painting from his mother’s art collection.

The case, Schulhof v. Jacobs, 13/157797, centers on the sale of “Future Science Versus the Man” by Jean-Michel Basquiat. According to Ramos’ opinion, Schulhof hired Jacobs to find a buyer for the painting, with the understanding that it would be priced at no less than $6 million and that she would receive $50,000. Jacobs was told not to take any fees from the buyer, but claimed she entered into a separate agreement with Schulhof’s mother entitling her to a “buyer’s premium.”

In 2011, Jacobs lined up a buyer at a price of $6.5 million. According to Ramos, the buyer agreed to the price, but Jacobs told Schulhof the buyer was willing to pay $5.5 million, which Schulhof accepted. Schulhof didn’t find out about the missing $1 million until a year later.

“This court also finds that there is no triable issue of fact as to the damages, as it is clear that Mr. Schulhof was damaged in the amount of approximately $1 million due to Jacobs’ fraud,” Ramos said.

Jacobs’ attorney, Carter Reich of Nicholas Goodman & Associates said an appeal is planned.

“The decision really took everything the plaintiff said at face value, and I think he [Ramos] made a credibility determination, which is normally the province of the jury.”

Robert Fryd of Warshaw Burstein, who represented Schulhof, said he was pleased with the ruling.

Finding that an art dealer skimmed $1 million off the sale of a $6.5 million painting, a state judge in Manhattan ordered her to pay back the “secret profits” and then some.

Commercial Division Justice Charles Ramos granted Michael Schulhof’s request for summary judgment against Lisa Jacobs, who facilitated the sale of a painting from his mother’s art collection.

The case, Schulhof v. Jacobs, 13/157797, centers on the sale of “Future Science Versus the Man” by Jean-Michel Basquiat. According to Ramos’ opinion, Schulhof hired Jacobs to find a buyer for the painting, with the understanding that it would be priced at no less than $6 million and that she would receive $50,000. Jacobs was told not to take any fees from the buyer, but claimed she entered into a separate agreement with Schulhof’s mother entitling her to a “buyer’s premium.”

In 2011, Jacobs lined up a buyer at a price of $6.5 million. According to Ramos, the buyer agreed to the price, but Jacobs told Schulhof the buyer was willing to pay $5.5 million, which Schulhof accepted. Schulhof didn’t find out about the missing $1 million until a year later.

“This court also finds that there is no triable issue of fact as to the damages, as it is clear that Mr. Schulhof was damaged in the amount of approximately $1 million due to Jacobs’ fraud,” Ramos said.

Jacobs’ attorney, Carter Reich of Nicholas Goodman & Associates said an appeal is planned.

“The decision really took everything the plaintiff said at face value, and I think he [Ramos] made a credibility determination, which is normally the province of the jury.”

Robert Fryd of Warshaw Burstein, who represented Schulhof, said he was pleased with the ruling.