Investigation and a pending class action lawsuit against Park West Gallery, HSBC Finance Corp. and Holland America, claiming the companies engaged in a scheme to knowingly defraud passengers aboard cruises by selling forged artwork to unsuspecting purchasers.
The class action lawsuit claims Park West sold pieces of art ostensibly created by artists Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso and Rembrandt, when the defendants knew - or should have known - that some of the pieces were forgeries. Cruise ship auctions account for a significant portion of the cruise ship's revenue through revenue-sharing agreements with the art auction companies. Reports peg the revenue in the hundreds of millions of dollars annually. The lawsuit claims co-defendants HSBC and Holland America participated in, and benefited from, Park West's art dealings onboard. Holland America shares revenue with Park West for all pieces sold at onboard auctions and the lawsuit claims the cruise line should have known the pieces sold were not authentic. A division of HSBC offered purchasers private-brand credit cards with very high credit limits so passengers could purchase artwork at the onboard auctions.
The lawsuit seeks to represent anyone in the United States who purchased unauthentic artwork from Park West Gallery, those who purchased artwork with financing from HSBC, and those who purchased unauthentic artwork aboard a Holland America ship.
Name (Stock Symbol)
Holland America Line Inc.
Holland America Line Inc. is a cruise line.
HSBC Finance Corporation
HSBC Finance Corporation, formerly Household International, Inc. It is a financial services firm with a focus on consumer lending in the US.
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