EXCLUSIVE: Auction house Sotheby's has bank account frozen over sale of car as Met Police probe
HIGH END: Examples from RM Sotheby's YouTube - not the vehicle in question (RM Sotheby's/YouTube)
AUCTION house RM Sotheby's has had a bank account frozen while police investigate the sale of a high-value car. The firm, set up in 1744 which specialises in the sale of performance vehicles, said it had fully cooperated with the Met Police investigation.
The probe is understood to be into a third party consignor who RM Sotheby's acted for on the sale earlier this year. The firm this week announced it was being sold to Patrick Drahi, a French-Israeli telecoms billionaire and art collector for £2.9 billion, but the police action is not connected to this. On Friday at Westminster Magistrates Court a 12-month freezing order was placed on money held in an HSBC account held by the firm.
A separate application by the Met to freeze the HSBC account of a sister company, RM Sotheby's Italia based in Bromley, south London was withdrawn. A Sotheby's spokesman said: "We have fully cooperated with the Metropolitan Police. "The order solely impacts a special bank account designated to hold proceeds from the sale of a specific motor car sold on behalf of a consignor by RM Sotheby’s in 2019. It does not impact RM Sotheby’s ability to conduct business whatsoever nor does it, to the best of our knowledge, have any relation to the recent Sotheby’s announcement of a definitive agreement to sell the company."