Guy Wildenstein, art dealer and a government representative in New York for French citizens overseas, was charged on Wednesday in an investigation around missing artwork. He is accused of obtaining goods through an abuse of trust.

"/> Guy Wildenstein, art dealer and a government representative in New York for French citizens overseas, was charged on Wednesday in an investigation around missing artwork. He is accused of obtaining goods through an abuse of trust.

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CRIME

High-profile art dealer charged in investigation

Guy Wildenstein, art dealer and a government representative in New York for French citizens overseas, was charged on Wednesday in an investigation around missing artwork. He is accused of obtaining goods through an abuse of trust.

The charges stem from artworks that had been missing for almost two decades which were found by police during a search of the Wildenstein Institute in Paris in January, including an oil painting by impressionist artist Berthe Morisot valued at €800,000.

Wildenstein is the son of renowned art dealer David Wildenstein, who had a valuable collection of art and who died in 2001. His widow, Sylvia Roth, filed charges against her son-in-law before her death in November 2010. She had accused him of hiding a large part of his father’s immense fortune from tax authorities and other heirs.

The accused, who resides in New York, was released on his own recognisance, according to his lawyer.

“I welcome this situation which will allow Mr. Guy Wildenstein to defend himself and I have no doubt as to the case’s outcome,” Hervé Temime told AFP.

Ever since the death of David Wildenstein, his three heirs – Sylvie Roth and his sons, Guy and Alec – have been involved in a bitter dispute over his financial legacy.

Guy Wildenstein, who in addition to his art world activities is a businessman, racehorse owner and member of the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) party, was inducted into the French Legion of Honour in 2009 by President Nicolas Sarkozy.

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CRIME

Frenchman extradited to US on hacking charges pleads not guilty

Frenchman Sebastien Raoult pleaded not guilty to cybercrimes Friday in Seattle federal court, two days after he was extradited from Morocco.

Frenchman extradited to US on hacking charges pleads not guilty

Federal Judge Michelle Peterson told the 21-year-old Raoult that he was charged with nine counts, including conspiracy, computer intrusion, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Raoult listened through an interpreter.

After Raoult’s plea of not guilty, the judge ordered him to be detained as a flight risk until a hearing April 3.

Moroccan authorities arrested Raoult at Rabat airport May 31 at the request of the US Department of Justice. Along with Raoult, two other French nationals were also arrested, Gabriel Bildstein, 23, and Abdel-Hakim El-Ahmadi, 22.

According to Raoult’s indictment, he and the other two men are alleged to have formed a hacking team, dubbed “ShinyHunters,” to steal confidential data from 60 companies to sell on the dark web where criminals routinely operate.

Some of the companies are located in the Seattle area.

According to experts, beginning in 2020, the hackers stole customer data from the Indonesian e-commerce site Tokopedia, the US clothing brand Bonobos, the US telecom AT&T and many other companies, putting the personal data for sale on the dark web.

The criminal charges carry a possible jail term of up to 27 years in prison.

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