Facing suits, Merkin sells art trove

Boston Globe – It’s been a bad few months for New York financier J. Ezra Merkin. First, his hedge funds lost $2.4 billion in the Bernard Madoff swindle. Then, he lost his post as chairman of GMAC Financial Services.

Now, he’s parting with his prized art collection.

Bombarded by lawsuits accusing him of fraud, Merkin and his wife have arranged to sell their impressive collection of paintings by abstract expressionist Mark Rothko, as well as some valuable sculptures by Alberto Giacometti, according to legal papers filed yesterday.

An anonymous buyer has agreed to pay $310 million for the trove, the filing said.

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