| NEW YORK, April 3
NEW YORK, April 3 JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N)
has sued Dutch businessman Louis Reijtenbagh, saying he failed
to pay back more than $23 million in loans and that he
unlawfully moved valuable artwork by Rembrandt, Picasso and
other artists out of the United States that had been put up as
The case is the second lawsuit in two weeks against the
62-year-old Reijtenbagh, a one-time medical doctor who is now
considered one of the wealthiest people in the Netherlands
after making a fortune through investing.
Reijtenbagh and his two sons were sued last week by Credit
Suisse Group AG CSGN.VX, which has gotten a temporary court
order freezing his assets. [ID:nnN31305455] Several investment
funds run by the Swiss bank accuse them of misusing more than
$340 million in loans that were to have been used to finance
the family's private equity investments.
The Credit Suisse and JPMorgan cases were both filed in New
York State Supreme Court in Manhattan.
The JPMorgan lawsuit, filed on Wednesday, seeks the
repayment of loans that were backed by millions of dollars
worth of artwork held by Monte-Carlo Art SA, a British Virgin
Islands-based entity that JPMorgan says is controlled by
Jay Fialkoff, a lawyer representing Reijtenbagh and his
sons in the Credit Suisse case, told Reuters on Friday that he
was "not sure" if he was going to represent the investor in the
JPMorgan lawsuit and declined to comment on it.
A hearing in the JPMorgan case has been set for April 15,
according to court documents.
The Reijtenbaghs have been described in court papers as a
wealthy Dutch family with offices and residences in Brussels,
Monaco, Luxembourg and New York.
JPMorgan said in its lawsuit that Reijtenbagh and his
companies "have experienced a material adverse change in his
business and his financial condition."
The bank said Reijtenbagh failed to pay back a substantial
part of a $50 million loan extended in July 2006. It said he
owes an outstanding principal balance of about $23.5 million
plus accrued interest of nearly $9,900 as of March 30.
Reijtenbagh is one of the 50 richest people in the
Netherlands, according to the weekly publication Quote, which
estimated his assets last year at about 590 million euros ($793
The son of a Dutch farmer, he worked as a family doctor and
made his first fortune in the 1980s in stocks, according to
Dutch daily De Telegraaf.
JPMorgan sued Reijtenbagh for breach of contract and other
claims. It contends the artwork backing the loan was supposed
to be safeguarded at an apartment in the Trump Tower
Condominium on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue that is owned by
Reijtenbagh's sons, Jacob and Edgar.
However, JPMorgan contends, the defendants moved the "art
collateral ... outside of the apartment and the United States"
without the bank's consent.
A list of the art includes works by Rembrandt, Picasso,
Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Pierre Bonnard, Rene Magritte and
A JPMorgan spokesman declined to comment on the case,
saying the bank does not discuss pending litigation.
JPMorgan said in its court papers that Reijtenbagh resides
in Monaco. Credit Suisse's lawsuit said his actual residence
"is currently the subject of an investigation by the Belgian
Fialkoff declined to comment on Reijtenbagh's whereabouts
or main place of residence.
The case is JPMorgan Chase Bank NA vs Louis Reijtenbagh
601001/2009, New York State Supreme Court, Manhattan
(Additional reporting by Harro ten Wolde in Amsterdam; Editing
by Phil Berlowitz)