Millionaire Collector Hugh Levey Forfeits Jasper Johns and Lichtenstein Paintings to Pay Debts

Photo of Manhattan investment banker Hugh Levey, who exposed his sordid affair with partner Claire Gruppo rather than pay court-ordered $1.3 million fine. NO CREDIT!!!

According to the New York Post‘s Page Six column, a multimillionaire investor who deliberately keeps himself cash poor through a maze of trusts and byzantine financial arrangements, was ordered by a Supreme court judge to turn over $2 million worth of art, antiques, furs, and jewelry in order to satisfy a longstanding debt. According to the Post, the property in question includes work by Jasper Johns and Roy Lichtenstein (see Alleged Art Swindler Luke Brugnara Threatens Judge With Retribution and Real Estate Mogul Mixed Up In $11 Million Fraud).

Hugh Levey, the co-founder of investment firm Gruppo Levey, had earlier opted to have his messy divorce proceedings dragged out in public—including his more than 12-year affair with his business partner Claire Gruppo—rather than pay a court-ordered debt he owed to a plaintiff identified as Virginia-based Pensmore Investments LLC. Supreme Court Judge Shirley Werner Kornreich ruled this past July that Levey was on the hook to Pensmore for what the Post described as a “bad investment.”

According to the Post‘s most recent report, Levey “must give up the goods by Thursday  [May 28] or the sheriff can enter his Fifth Avenue and Greenwich homes to seize them” (see John McEnroe Prevails In Court Amid Continued Salander Fallout and Will Larry Salander’s Fraud Victims Get Their Money Back?).

A Post report from this past January laid out in detail how Levey “engaged in a drawn out court battle that made public documents” about his longstanding affair with Gruppo as well as his “highly confidential net worth statement that is part of his divorce. It shows that while Levey was cash poor—he only had $500 in a checking account, $200 cash on hand, and zero savings—he’s worth $29 million.” His funds are tied up in a $15 million Fifth Avenue apartment in Manhattan, a $5 million home in Greenwich, Connecticut, and millions in various trusts and personal items, according to court documents.

According to the the page about Levey on the Gruppo Levey website, some lesser known facts about him include that he once owned a nightclub in Paducah, Kentucky—which played host to “some memorable customers since you could BYOB.” Also per the site, Levey apparently farms corn and soybeans “with a little help,” and had a “life altering experience pinballing through class 3 rapids having fallen out of the boat.”


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