Tony Cragg Denies Involvement in the Achenbach Scandal
Following Helge Achenbach’s partial confession last week, (see Achenbach Gives Surprise Partial-Confession in Fraud Case) the German art advisor’s trial took another shocking twist yesterday when he claimed that British artist Tony Cragg was involved in the fraud, Art Magazin report
Achenbach is currently on trial accused of defrauding the late billionaire and Aldi supermarket heir Berthold Albrecht on 23 separate occasions by manipulating invoices, resulting in estimated damages of €23 million (see €18 Million Fraud Claim Against Art Advisor).
Prosecutors accused Achenbach of doubling the purchase price of a Tony Cragg artwork by illicitly altering the invoice and selling the artwork to Albrecht for €400,000. According to Achenbach’s testimony last week, the art advisor split the profit with the artist after selling the illicitly marked-up sculpture to Albrecht.
Cragg has denied any involvement with the fraud. On Monday he told DPA, “I had nothing to do with the resale, and don’t know the details of this sale.” He insisted that, “It was a normal business transaction with an art dealer.”
A spokeswoman for Cragg told artnet News that the artist was not available for comment.
According to Stern, the art adviser also shared the illicit €750,000 ‘profit’ from a €4.5 million Gerhard Richter painting with an unnamed gallery.
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