Victim of Ponzi-schemer Dreier to get his Warhols, Rothkos

Monday, 12 Aug 2013 | 12:37 PM ET
A Roy Lichtenstein hanging at Christie's in London
Getty Images
A Roy Lichtenstein hanging at Christie's in London

Convicted Ponzi schemer Marc Dreier is being forced to turn over pieces of his multimillion-dollar art collection, including works by Andy Warhol, Mark Rothko, Roy Lichtenstein and Damien Hirst, to one of his victims, the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York said Monday.

In a statement, Preet Bharara said that the U.S. Marshals had transferred 18 seized works to one of Dreier's victims.

(Read more: Madoff was in 'love triangle' with employee: U.S. prosecutors)

Dreier had displayed the artwork in his home. He gave the victim a security interest in the collection, then valued at over $30 million, supposedly to secure the payment to the victim on promissory notes that he had secretly forged and that had a face value of more than $110 million.

The same person previously had transferred $1.65 million in forfeited funds to the government, which the U.S. Attorney's Office will seek to make available to other victims of Dreier's fraud.

American Greed: Hedge Fund Imposter
Marc Dreier is a high-powered lawyer with celebrity clients. But Dreier is a conman and steals more than $700 million from hedge funds. American Greed profiles a story of deception and fraud!

Dreier was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison in 2009 for a Ponzi-style investment fraud. He is scheduled to be released in 2026.

(Read more: US SEC bans three ex-Madoff employees from securities industry)

He launched the scheme in 2004, and Dreier was arrested when Bernard Madoff confessed to his fraud. He pleaded guilty to eight charges of fraud, including securities fraud, wire fraud and money laundering in a scheme to sell $700 million in fictitious promissory notes.

(Read more: Are white-collar criminals 'the worst of the worst?')

Dozens of pieces from his art collection were previously seized and sold at auction.

By CNBC's Matt Twomey. Follow him on Twitter @Matt_Twomey


Contact Crime


    Get the best of CNBC in your inbox

    › Learn More

American Greed

  • "$UDDEN DEATH"/ "HIP HOP HUSTLE" - NCAA basketball coaches are among the victims who get financially slam dunked in a $39 million scam out of Houston. And a wannabe rap star claims he's working with a famous Hollywood star to collect money to produce a movie about his 'gangsta' life. But there is no movie only hip-hop star livin'.

  • With investigators eager to confirm that Joel Salinas is running a $39 million investment fraud, he runs out of options and sets off on a final escape.

  • The $1.5 million raised to produce a movie was a scam. Instead Eric Jagclicic spent investor money on fancy cars, exotic pets, and more.