Timothy Sammons. Photo: Peter Summers

Former Sotheby’s Specialist Accused of Fraud May Face Twenty-Five Years in Prison

British dealer Timothy Sammons, a former director of Sotheby’s Chinese art department in New York, faces fifteen charges of fraud and up to twenty-five years in prison for stealing more that $10 million from clients, Chris Greenwood and Rebecca Camber of the Daily Mail report.

While UK District judge Mike Snow recently approved an extradition request by the New York County district attorney’s office, Sammons is expected to fight the order, arguing that an extradition to the US would result in extreme hardship on his family.

Sammons is accused of selling works by Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Paul Gauguin, Amedeo Modigliani, and René Magritte on behalf of several clients, including a luxury Caribbean hotelier, a New Zealand art collector, a Florida-based philanthropist, and a New York financier, and pocketing the proceeds.

The former respected cultural figure’s alleged criminal activities were exposed in 2015, when several clients began to file lawsuits against him claiming he failed to remit payments. In response, a UK high court froze all of his accounts—about $9 million in assets—confiscated his passport, and permitted him a $1,500 weekly allowance.

Since the scandal came to light, Sammons filed for bankruptcy in January and, after defaulting on his loans, his $5 million home in Primrose Hill in North London was repossessed.