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LA art dealer Perry Rubenstein sentenced to jail for $1 million theft case

Perry Rubenstein, a former art dealer, has been sentenced to jail for stealing more than $1 million from high-profile clients, owners of paintings, including Michael Ovitz, the former Walt Disney Co. president and co-founder of Creative Artists Agency.

According to prosecutors, in 2012, right after Rubenstein moved from New York to Los Angeles, he sold a Takashi Murakami painting belong to Michael Salke. Rubenstein did not turn over all $825,000, the proceeds to Salke.

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A year later, in 2013, Rubenstein sold two  Richard Prince paintings for $975,000, but never paid Michael Ovitzbut the full proceeds from the sale. Although the two settled down the case, Rubenstein was arrested one month later on charges that he had stolen the Prince paintings, after he reported on insurance claims seeking $4.1 million.

In 2014 Rubenstein declared bankruptcy, after a successful career as a dealer in New York.

The art dealer, 63, from Los Angeles, was ordered Monday to serve six months in a private jail facility, three years of probation and pay $1.1 million to Ovitz and another victim, collector Salke, according to a spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

A probation violation could lead to a 16-month prison term.





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