Art Dealer Secretly Sold Client’s Picassos, Matisses for $4 Million, Then Spent It All

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 2004: Visitors Drink coffee and champagne during a champagne Sunday Brunch viewing for Post-War and Contemporary Art at Christie's auction house, South Kensington. Behind is Andy Warhol's canvass 'Dollar Sign' which later sold for £386,050. (Photo by Mike Goldwater/Exclusive by Getty Images) Photo: Mike Goldwater/2004 Mike Goldwater

Robert Cook may not be a Ponzi schemer — like fellow art dealer Lawrence Salander, who was charged in 2009 with defrauding clients of $88 million — but he did spend all $4.2 million from the unauthorized sale of sixteen pieces belonging to a single client, including several Picassos, Manets, Matisses, and Renoirs. The charge against him, according to one rhyme-happy FBI assistant director involved with the case, "is that Mr. Cook is a crook."