Michael Horne
Plenty of Horne

DA Hits Lord With Double Felony Charge

By - Sep 13th, 2005 09:00 am

Disgraced art dealer Michael H. Lord made an initial appearance in Milwaukee County circuit Court Branch 42 on September 1st, when he was charged with two counts of “Theft in a Business Setting >$2,500,” a Class C felony.

September 1st was also, coincidentally, the first day that Lord was compelled to begin making annual $20,000 payments to settle a judgment in a case where he pled guilty to a charge of stealing $105,000 from the estate of a deceased relative.

The most recent charges stem from activities as far back as 2000. The first count stems from an earlier civil lawsuit in which River Hills surgeon Dr. James Leibsohn claimed Lord never paid him $180,000 for a Matisse drawing entitled Femme Allongée.

Leibsohn had known Lord for twenty years and considered him a friend, according to the complaint. The two met at Elsa’s sometime between September and November of 1999, when Leibsohn told Lord he was looking for an investment opportunity.

According to the complaint, “Dr. Leibsohn and the defendant discussed the idea of having the defendant locate a quality piece of artwork at a fairly low cost with the expectation that they would resell the artwork at a later date for profit.”

Leibsohn would buy the artwork and split the profits with Lord fifty-fifty.

Lord located the Matisse, which had sold in London in 1995 for $36,536, and had somehow come into his hands. Leibsohn paid $165,000 for the drawing by December 25, 1999. Leibsohn never took custody of the artwork, which was left in Lord’s hands for resale.

The drawing was briefly on display at Lord’s gallery, but over the years it disappeared from view. When Leibsohn went looking for it, he was told it was at the Pacific Asian Museum (of all places) in Pasadena, California. Leibsohn checked with the museum, which denied any knowledge of the piece or of Lord.

Here is where the story becomes so uniquely Milwaukee. (Civic Motto: You Can Run; But You Can’t Hide):

Leibsohn was chatting with Susan Selig, a housewife from Bayside, Wisconsin. During the course of their conversation, Lord’s name came up, and Leibsohn asked if Ms. Selig had ever had any trouble with the Michael Lord Gallery.

Ms. Selig said that she and her husband, Allen H. “Bud” Selig had, in fact, purchased a Matisse from Michael H. Lord on October 18th, 2000 for $195,000. With tax, the total came to $205,920. The Matisse was the missing Femme Allongée. Can you say, “awkward moment?” The investigator for the District Attorney inspected the check that Selig had written and noted that it had been deposited into Lord’s bank account at M&I; bank.

So much for count one of the complaint.

On the second count, a Milwaukeean named Lawrence Demmer paid $33,792 for a Dale Chihuly glass blowing entitled “Sky Blue Basket with Black Lip Wraps.” He paid for the piece by check to Lord on March 4, 2002. According to the terms of a contract with the Seattle glassblower, Lord was to have paid Chihuly Studio $16,000 for the artwork on March 14, 2002. As the complaint states, “as of July of 2005, this money has not been paid to Chihuly Studio, Inc.

A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for September 21st at 1:30 p.m.

Feingold Must Pay

Senator Russell Feingold’s position as perhaps the poorest United States Senator seems secure now that his divorce is final. He has been ordered to pay $4,000 per month, in $2,000 installments, to his ex-wife, Mary Feingold. Senator Russ keeps the house in Middleton, she gets the one in Rockford, Illinois, poor dear.

Click for document.

Wife Says: “Recall My Husband!”

Pamela Malone was on the radio not long ago haranguing listeners of WMCS to recall Alderman Robert Bauman. Funny thing, since the downtown alderman is Dr. Malone’s husband.

But Bauman filed for divorce against Malone, which might explain a few things. The matter comes before Judge Sullivan next month for a preliminary hearing.

Click for document.

Karos Sentencing Delayed

Art fraudster Marilyn Karos was to have been sentenced in Federal Court for her guilty plea on charges that she “did corruptly endeavor to influence, obstruct and impede the due administration of justice in the case of Richard O’Hara v. United States.” The maximum term of imprisonment for the offense is ten years and $250,000. she agreed in April to a lesser fine of $2,100 and no prison time. However, the sentencing, scheduled for late August, has been delayed until October.

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