Court date set in art suit

  • court/crime

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Tuesday, January 31, 2017 8:31AM

A pretrial court date has been set in a lawsuit against a former Franklin Pierce University professor and her son who allegedly sold nearly $700,000 in counterfeit paintings to a well-known art collector, according to court records. 

A pretrial conference for the case against Lorettann and Nikolas Gascard has been set for Feb. 27 in front of Magistrate Judge Andrea K. Johnstone. This will be the first court date since plaintiff Andrew Hall filed the lawsuit back in September. 

The lawsuit filed through the U.S. District Court, New Hampshire, alleges that Lorettann Gascard, a former art history professor at FPU and director of the university’s art gallery, and her adult son Nikolas, sold 24 counterfeit Leon Golub paintings to Hall over a two-year period. Hall, a Florida resident, has built a career in oil trading and hedge fund management and is a well-known art collector.

Little was known of the whereabouts of the Gascards until very recently, when Nikolas filed a motion a few weeks ago, requesting that the suit be dropped. The motion contained a 25-page memorandum of law, outlining a number of reasons as to why the Gascard’s felt the case should be dropped. 

Lorettann had previously been living in Rindge and Nikolas had previously been living in Peterborough, but police were unable to find the two at either address when they went to serve court summons. As of Jan. 6, the Gascards were served by the Cheshire County Sheriff’s Office at a Keene address. 

Hall’s attorneys, Ted Poretz and Samantha D. Elliot, submitted a motion to extend the time to respond to the defendant’s motion to dismiss on Jan. 25. The motion asks for an extension to Feb. 20 – the previous date to respond by was Jan. 30 – because of the length and variety of the Gascard’s arguments in combination with his attorneys having preexisting commitments. 

Nicholas Handy can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or nhandy@ledgertranscript.com. He is also on Twitter @nhandyMLT.