Justice Barry Ostrager of the New York Supreme Court wants to know, where is Julian Radcliffe?
A no show or non-appearance at today’s final court hearing (see court record photo below). It appears that Radcliffe is in arrears to the tune of 86k in back rent to his NYC landlord. Other questions have resurfaced about his viability in light of other partners claims against him.
Art Loss Register Update - Sources allege the following:
The ALR used to own a company called Albion in Delhi, India. There, they processed all the database registrations and searches.
In the summer of 2013, Radcliffe’s partners, Tony LeFevre and Preeti Bahl, forced Radcliffe to sell the company to Loss Management Group (LMG), based in Eastbourne and who, according to their website, are the UK’s largest organisation specialising in the professional management of insurance claims for jewellery, watches and other valuable items, whether they have been damaged, lost or stolen.
The vote on the sale was 2/3 against 1/3. Radcliffe was furious and demanded an apology from his former financial director and long time business partner LeFevre who resigned from ALR over the distasteful and nebulous payments Radcliffe was making to criminals. LeFevre basically told Radcliffe to stick it where the sun don’t shine.
Once Albion was sold, Radcliffe had a problem. Now, all he had was a contract with a third party company in Delhi which handled confidential police, victim and insurance data. This in turn, violates many of ALR contracts with victims as well as insurers and dealers who think their confidential material is “safe with the ALR”.
To hide this fact from the public, he rented out his own office at Hatton Garden to Albion (for a satellite office) and placed a sign on the door (see image below) to give the impression that it was still an ALR controlled operation. He even demanded a seat on the Albion Board, which didn’t happen.
Until now, the public is unaware of these ALR shenanigans. Galleries, TEFAF, Art Basel, Frieze Art Fairs, victims, and IFAR amongst others, might like to consider that their confidential data is being sent to LMG, and that the ALR is nothing but a front of house boiler plate.
What's Going On With The Art Loss Register?
Julian Radcliffe in legal court room drama. Once the hunter, now the prey, the alleged would be extortionist is on the hot seat for monies owed.
Looks like the extortion business ain’t what it used to be.
A New York City art lawyer noticed this case on the docket recently in NY State Civil Supreme Court. It appears that the ALR, which closed its offices in NY, Germany, Paris, and Amsterdam between 2009-2010, bailed out on its New York City landlord 10839 Associates, with a sizeable unpaid bill to the tune of $86k.
NOWHERE TO RUN, NOWHERE TO HIDE
After trying to stiff the landlord, the plaintiffs found Radcliffe, who personally acted as guarantor on the lease, and sued. Mr. Radcliffe, who has admitted that the register has not made a profit under his stewardship for over a decade appears to have kept the ALR in the red over the last two years since this interview.
Whilst the date of 20 December for judgment seems like an end to this, yet another ALR sordid affair, there is no guarantee that Mr. Radcliffe will settle. Word on the street is that the ALR has lost its US insurance subscribers and is struggling to bring in recovery income since a mass exodus of talent took place in 2012 that gave rise to the creation of a rival database called Artive.
Is a dead beat tenant what the art world needs in a due diligence service or can we do better? Are ALR shareholders like Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Bonhams keeping the ALR just barely alive to show some semblance of due diligence? Is it being used to present a bogus veil of integrity? Perhaps, but one thing is for sure, having not made a profit in a decade, Mr. Radcliffe’s skills in recovery of stolen art have to be questioned, as does his ability to pay rent.
In a final twist to this story so far, Justice Barry R. Ostrager, who has taken the case since it was filled by the plaintiff on November 10 2015, is known to be relentless. As a matter of fact, one of AAD’s staff knows the Judge very well. Justice Ostrager used to have a summer home in Saratoga, he loves race horses, hates criminals, and loathes dead beats.
Watch this space.
This article first publshed 21.12.2017