December 7, 2023

Mr. Isen presented his perspective on art market transactions.

“It’s different from selling a car,” he said, “because the car has to have the registration, the title and this and that and everything. … These are nothing. … It could have been your grandmother’s. You follow me?”

“So I can say, ‘Hey, this is stuff I inherited and didn’t buy,'” Lisa asked.

“Right. ‘I found it at a thrift store, it was $ 10 each,'” Mr Isen replied.

Mr Isen was not accused of wrongdoing in Belciano’s case and has denied knowing that Mr Belciano used the art to launder money on charges of money laundering and pleaded guilty in 2015. He was sentenced to 320 hours of community service and a fine of $ 15,000.

A week after their first conversation, Lisa returned to Mr. Isen’s gallery to purchase 12 lithographs by Salvador Dalí for $ 20,000. She had the money in a brown paper bag. It smelled like drugs, she told the gallery owner, because she kept it with her marijuana stash.

He told her that according to the court records, she would not be billed for her purchases.

“No bills? Cool, ”she replied. “No receipt, no bill, I’m fine with that. That’s how I like to do business. “

“We have never seen you before,” said Mr. Isen.

Zachary Small contributed to the coverage. Alain Delaqueriere contributed to the research.