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Lawyer Who Accused Art Dealer of Hiding Assets Hit with Guilty Verdict of Her Own

Lawyer Who Accused Art Dealer of Hiding Assets Hit with Guilty Verdict of Her Own

After the death of Daniel Wildenstein, of the multigenerational family owned art dealership Wildenstein & Co., his wife Sylvia accused her stepson Guy Wildenstein of stealing her inheritance—and her lawyer, Claude Dumont-Beghi, sparked a criminal investigation into tax issues related to Guy’s offshore trusts, which were stuffed with $1 billion worth of art. Though Guy was eventually acquitted of tax fraud, in 2017 as well as 2018, Dumont-Beghi was given more than $5 million for her efforts.

In a twist, it is now Dumont-Beghi who is now entangled with the law, according to a report in the Art Newspaper. Dumont-Beghi was found guilty of aggravated tax fraud and money laundering of her own in 2019 after a failed attempt to hide the money that Sylvia had given her. News of the conviction was revealed just last week, following an appeal by Dumont-Beghi earlier in December. Though she denies evading taxes, officials claimed that Dumont-Beghi failed to pay almost $170,000 in income tax and $135,000 in wealth tax, according to the report. Back in 2019, she was given an 18-month suspended sentence and hit with hefty fines. Currently, Dumont-Beghi faces more than $800,000 in fines.

Meanwhile, Guy Wildenstein is not entirely out of the woods. France’s highest court ordered a retrial this past January as tax authorities pursue $752 million in taxes owed by the Wildenstein family. Implicated in the trial are Guy Wildenstein, who remains the director of the art dealership Wildenstein & Co.; Liouba Stoupakova, Guy’s brother’s widow; and her son Alec Wildenstein, Jr.

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