Matthew Green, 50, who set up Mayfair Fine Art in January 2017, is named alongside five other individuals and four businesses in an indictment filed by the US Attorney’s Department of Justice in New York.
The charges against the defendants include conspiracy to commit securities fraud and money-laundering conspiracy.
The other defendants in the case are: Panayiotis Kyriacou, Arvinsingh Canaye, Adrian Baron, Linda Bullock, Aristos Aristodemou, Beaufort Securities Ltd, Beaufort Management Services Ltd, Loyal Bank Ltd, Loyal Agency and Trust Corp.
Green is named in the case relating to the attempted sale of a Pablo Picasso painting to an undercover FBI agent.
Richard Donoghue, the US attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said: “The defendants engaged in an elaborate multi-year scheme to defraud the investing public of millions of dollars through deceit and manipulative stock trading, and then worked to launder the fraudulent proceeds through off-shore bank accounts and the art world, including the proposed purchase of a Picasso painting.”
The Department of Justice said that between October 2017 and February 2018 Aristos Aristodemou, the uncle of Panayiotis Kyriacou, Green and their co-conspirators agreed to launder £6.7m via the sale of a Picasso painting.
Aristodemou is reported to have described the art business as the “only market that is unregulated”.
According to the DOJ, the defendants proposed the FBI’s undercover agent could purchase from Green Picasso’s Personnages (1965). The money laundering scheme was halted prior to the transfer of ownership of the painting.
Matthew Green, who was a director of the Richard Green art dealership until 2012, could not be reached for comment.
In a statement from Richard Green Gallery it said it “is aware that charges have been made against Matthew Green in the context of his ownership of Mayfair Fine Art Limited. The Richard Green Gallery has no knowledge of, or any involvement with, the allegations but fully supports the establishment of the facts in the case”.