Perry Rubenstein

LA Dealer Perry Rubenstein Pleads No Contest to Grand Theft

Art dealer Perry Rubenstein pleaded no contest to two felony counts of grand theft by embezzlement in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom on Thursday, the LA Times reports. Rubenstein was arrested in Santa Monica in April 2016 for failing to pay his clients.

Michael Ovitz, cofounder of the talent agency Creative Artists Agency and a former president of the Walt Disney Company, and collector Michael Salke filed three felony charges against Rubenstein. As part of the deal Rubenstein made with prosecutors, one of the charges was dropped.

Rubenstein was accused of not turning over the profits from two Richard Prince works that he sold on behalf of Ovitz. They were valued at more than $1 million. He also allegedly sold a scroll by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami for Salke, but lied about the price he received for the work and failed to fully compensate Salke.

In 2014, Rubenstein owed more than $5 million to creditors and was forced to declare bankruptcy. He currently faces up to 180 days in jail and 3 years of probation and will have to pay restitution. Rubenstein will be sentenced on May 22.