There was no January 29 hearing regarding a possible sale of the folk art assets in the matter concerning Ralph Esmerian and the American Folk Art Museum. That date originally had been proposed by liquidation trustee Jay Teitelbaum, in papers filed with the United States Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York. The hearing, scheduled before bankruptcy judge Robert Drain, has been postponed to March 7, at 10 a.m., in White Plains, New York.
Liquidation trustee Jay Teitelbaum noted that those having objections to the proposed agreement by the American Folk Art Museum and representatives of Sotheby’s and Christie’s should have posted those responses with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court before 5 p.m. on February 14.
Several other matters have been settled, though, according to Teitelbaum. Four artworks worth some $555,000 that had been given to the law firm of Phillips Nizer as collateral for a loan have been returned, and after their sale, the resulting funds will be added to the bankruptcy kitty. Stack’s Bowers Galleries has sold a number of medals for the Esmerian Trust account, and $28,641.80 has been deposited in that same account. Other claims and sales are ongoing. The Esmerian apartment in New York City was sold for $1,920,000, during 2012, and a reserve account has been set up to handle any income tax liabilities that may accrue from that sale.
The number of documents produced during the whole matter between Esmerian and the American Folk Art Museum and the subsequent bankruptcy filings (there are two, R. Esmerian, Inc., 10-12719-rdd and Ralph Esmerian, 10-12721-rdd, which have been consolidated by the court) is voluminous.
The bankruptcy trustee has rented a “virtual file room” at the Teitelbaum & Baskin law firm where the 46,000 documents and files are stored at a cost of $1000 per month.
We will keep readers abreast of this ongoing story.