Schacter did not pay the judgment, but he did file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December 2011 to reorganize his debts. His course of action was derailed when Mannheim learned last March, through an item in The Hollywood Reporter, that the Metropolis poster was being offered for sale on a website for $850,000. Consequently, Mannheim asked the Bankruptcy Court to convert Schacter's Chapter 11 filing to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, stating he believed Schacter was concealing assets. The Court sided with Mannheim and re-categorized the bankruptcy as a Chapter 7, thereby forcing Schacter to liquidate his assets. Shortly thereafter, Bankruptcy Trustee John J. Menchaca took possession of the Metropolis poster and other items.
When DeLuca learned of the seizure, he consulted a Los Angeles bankruptcy attorney who told him it would be possible to present a private offer to the trustee.
"Ordinarily in an arrangement of that type, a person making an offer puts up 25 percent and shows proof of funds for the remainder. I immediately put up a cashier's check for the full $700,000 I was offering. The trustee felt it was a good deal."
Ultimately, Trustee Menchaca decided to liquidate the posters through a courtroom auction, with DeLuca's $700,000 bid serving as the opener.
DeLuca said he is not in a hurry to part with his most valuable artwork.
"Eventually if I get the right price, I'll sell it. When I do, it will be for a world-record price," he said.
SOURCE Ralph DeLuca