Art fraud trial moved to July

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, February 12, 2018 5:39PM

The trial date for a lawsuit against a former Franklin Pierce University and her son – collectively accused of selling nearly $700,000 in counterfeit painting to a well-known art collector – has been moved to July 24, according to court records. 

The trial – originally scheduled for March 20 – has been moved at the request of defendants Lorettann and Nikolas Gascard, who filed an assented-to motion for continuance and extension of deadlines with the  U.S. District Court, New Hampshire on a Nov. 30. 

The Gascards originally filed a partially assented-to motion on Nov. 1, asking that the deadline be moved for three reasons: a two-month extension given to plaintiff Andrew Hall’s expert disclosure, transition time needed for the Gascard’s new counsel who first appeared on Sept. 8, and the availability of witnesses for deposition.

Following a Nov. 20 status conference, both parties discussed outstanding discovery requirements and agreed to the schedule changes. 

The motion was granted by Judge Steven J. McAuliffe on Dec. 15. The court has also moved other relative court dates to later dates. 

A joint mediation statement has also been provided to the court, with both parties saying they have determined that mediation is not productive at this point in time. The potential for mediation will be discussed throughout the discovery process, according to the document. 

The lawsuit was filed by Andrew Hall in September of 2016. Hall has alleged that the Gascards sold 24 counterfeit Leon Golub paintings to him between Sept. 23, 2009 and October 2011. 

Hall said he first discovered the Golubs he obtained through the Gascards were counterfeits when he was preparing an exhibit in November 2014. It was during that time he reached out to the estate of Leon Golub to confirm dates and titles of the works he planned to exhibit. 

Six claims have been advanced by Hall against the Gascards: fraud, conspiracy to defraud, breach of common law and statutory warranties, breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and unfair and deceptive trade practices in violation of New Hampshire’s Consumer Protection Act. 

The Gascards previously asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit in its entirety, but a federal judge ruled to only dismiss part of one claim: the plaintiffs common law breach of warranty claim.