A federal grand jury returned a 24-count indictment today against Jeffrey Shankman with bankruptcy fraud and concealment of assets. Shankman filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2008 and the indictment alleges he “concealed, transferred, and sold various pieces of fine art, decorative art, and jewelry and other assets without the knowledge, consent, and approval of the trustee or the bankruptcy court.” Shankman is expected to turn himself in to federal authorities and make an initial appearance before a U.S. magistrate judge in the near future.
Shankman was head of the Global Markets Division of Enron in 2001 before its collapse and had served on the five-member Art Committee of Enron, which purchased $3.5 million in (mostly modern and contemporary) art before the committee was abruptly disbanded. Shankman was a trustee of the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, chaired the Decorative Arts Subcommittee at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and, in 2003, he refocused his passion for art and purchased the usually empty lot at 4411 Montrose in the heart of the Museum District. Shankman and architect Peter Zweig installed the “mega-gallery” complex, which still includes the Barbara Davis Gallery and the Wade Wilson Art, as well as others. After Shankman declared bankruptcy, the complex went up for sale in 2010.