Art law News Market Germany

German art adviser’s companies bankrupt

Three of Helge Achenbach’s firms are found to be insolvent

Three companies linked to Helge Achenbach, the German art adviser who was arrested on suspicion of fraud in June, filed a bankruptcy petition at the Düsseldorf Magistrate’s court on 7 August. The companies—The State of the Art, Achenbach Art Consulting and the gastronomy company Monkey’s—are all part of the umbrella organisation Achenbach Group.

Achenbach is accused of defrauding the late Aldi-supermarket heir and art collector Berthold Albrecht of €18m by falsifying invoices to inflate purchase prices. Achenbach was arrested on 10 June and remains in custody.

Benjamin Achenbach, Helge’s son and the representative of the Achenbach Group, filed the bankruptcy petition after discovering that the three companies were insolvent. According to a statement issued by the group, “major assets are currently blocked by court injunctions”. The companies are therefore “unable to sell works of art and to make payments”. The bankruptcy proceedings were initiated to “rehabilitate” the Achenbach Group, the statement says.

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