Home Arts Art consultant Lisa Schiff is cooperating with authorities investigating her business, lawyer says

Art consultant Lisa Schiff is cooperating with authorities investigating her business, lawyer says

by godlove4241
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Responding for the first time to one of the explosive lawsuits filed against art consultant Lisa Schiff, her attorney John Cahill revealed in court papers that Schiff is cooperating with federal and state authorities investigating his business dealings, and has worked to liquidate his consulting firm pay creditors. Court documents also reveal that Schiff is no longer able to afford the “lavish lifestyle” she was accused of by her former client and friend Candace Barasch, including the $25,000 rent for her Manhattan apartment. , and she depleted her savings, dipping into retirement funds to pay for her living expenses and legal fees.

Cahill’s motion, filed June 6, is in response to collector Barasch’s second lawsuit against Schiff. He asks the court to stay the pending civil proceedings and deny the plaintiff’s request for a temporary restraining order and expedited discovery, so that Schiff can continue to work with authorities investigating his consulting business. disappeared today. “To hire and enable other lawyers to hire law enforcement agencies, as well as ancillary services for technology and specialized accounting services, Lisa has quickly exhausted her savings and now relies on the tax levies on retirement savings,” writes Cahill. “Without the ability to use these and other assets, Lisa and the company will not be able to obtain services and, if necessary, a defense, by attorneys of their own choosing.”

Cahill, who represented Schiff pro bono according to court documents, adds that before any law enforcement began investigating Schiff, she willingly reported her. financial situation at the New York County District Attorney’s office. The attorney noted, however, that “it remains to be seen whether the conduct surrounding the defendants’ difficult financial situation rises to the level of criminal conduct that will be subject to potential prosecution.”

The documents also confirm that Schiff began liquidating her business, after admitting to Barasch and other clients that she was unable to pay what was owed to them. “The Company has assigned all of its assets to an Assignee for the benefit of creditors (including plaintiffs),” writes Cahill, referring to a alternative to bankruptcy proceedings. “The Transferee has been active and diligent in raising the Company’s assets and has engaged one of the world’s most respected art advisory firms to advise on the sale of the Company’s art assets and related logistics. “

According to court documents, Schiff is no longer able to pay the rent for his apartment. “Once her son finishes the school year, she will be looking to move elsewhere,” Cahill writes. “Given the media attention on her and this case, Lisa is struggling to get new employment and health insurance.” And although Schiff personally owns “works of art, furniture, jewelry and other valuable moments,” the documents note, “few of his personal items are easily liquidated or have values ​​in excess of tens of thousands. of dollars”.

Cahill’s motion also denies the allegation made by Barasch that Schiff operated a Ponzi scheme. “Although a number of the Company’s customers and vendors owe money because…spending and faulty payment practices have left the Company with more payment obligations than funds,” Cahill writes, during his 20-year relationship with the collector, Schiff’s counsel “resold for claimants approximately 100 works of art and generated a net profit for claimants of over $10,000,000 simply on these works of art resold alone.

Neither Cahill nor Barasch’s attorneys responded to our requests for additional comment at the time of publication.

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