Published On: Tue, Mar 31st, 2015

Guy Wildenstein’s Bank in Trouble over Accusation of Aiding his (Alleged) Tax Evasion

The New York born Wildenstein, 70, is accused of failing to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in inheritance taxes.

Guy Wildenstein

A French prosecutor on Monday confirmed that the Parquet national financer—the agency dealing with tax dodgers—is recommending charging RBC Trust Company (Bahamas) Ltd., a wealth management subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada, with supporting tax fraud and money laundering perpetrated by billionaire international art dealer Guy Wildenstein and his circle of friends and family, BNN reported.

The prosecution believes RBC Trust Co. held in trust a substantial portion of the inheritance of Daniel Wildenstein, Guy’s father, who died in 2001.

The New York born Wildenstein, 70, is accused of failing to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in inheritance taxes, money which he allegedly laundered. He contests the allegations and is currently out on a $10.7 million bond.

RBC spokeswoman Claire Holland sent out an e-mail message Monday, saying the bank “strongly contests” the French prosecutor’s recommendation to take them to court.

As they well should.

The Wildenstein family is one of the art world’s biggest art dealers, founding by Nathan Wildenstein in 1875. After his father’s death in 2001, Guy Wildenstein, a friend and financial backer of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, took control of the art business.

Then, in 2011, an enormous stash of fine-art works believed lost or stolen was found in a vault at the Wildenstein Institute in Paris.

Some people have all the luck…

Guy Wildenstein was charged with hiding some 30 works, including a Degas and a Manet, which he denies. To this day he claims not to have known the real value of those old things…

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