Plaintiff argues against Gascards’ motion to dismiss art forgery case

  • court/crime

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 2/22/2017 11:13:41 PM

A Florida man has argued that his lawsuit against a New Hampshire woman and her son — accused of selling him almost $700,000 in counterfeit paintings — should move forward as submitted, according to court documents. 

Andrew Hall, through his attorneys Ted Poretz and Samantha D. Elliot, filed an objection to Lorettann and Nikolas Gascard’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit on Tuesday, arguing that the Gascards are wrong in their motion to say the complaint is not properly pleaded. 

“The Gascards, in moving to dismiss, deny nothing,” read the objection. “Instead, they assert a kitchen-sink litany of defenses, asserting, for instance, that Hall does not plead his claims with sufficient particularity, that Hall could have discovered the Gascards’ fraud much sooner, and that as a result all applicable statutes of limitations have expired.”

The lawsuit, filed at the U.S. District Court, New Hampshire in September, 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 between Sept. 23, 2009 and October 2011. Hall has built a career in oil trading and hedge fund management and is a well-known art collector.

Hall’s lawsuit is asking for compensation of no less than $676,250, which is the purchase price of the challenged works. Hall is also seeking compensation for costs expended in discovering that the paintings were forged and attorney’s fees.

A pretrial conference has been set for Feb. 27 in front of Magistrate Judge Andrea K. Johnstone. This will be the first court date since the lawsuit was filed. 

The whereabouts of the Gascards were not known until recently, when Nikolas filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit in January. Lorettann had previously been living in Rindge and Nikolas in Peterborough, but police had been unable to find either at their previously listed addresses. All court documents submitted to this point have been through a Rindge PO Box, with the two recently being served court summons at a Keene address. 

Questions of the paintings’ validity came in November 2014 when Hall, through the Hall Art Foundation, an organization founded by Hall and his wife Christine, began to plan an exhibit of his Golub collection, which totaled over 60 paintings.

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