by: Rachel Stockman Updated:ATLANTA —
Atlanta police searched a well-known midtown Atlanta art gallery Tuesday.
Channel 2 Action News cameras captured investigators with the Major Fraud Unit carrying out computers and files from the Bill Lowe Gallery located on Peachtree Street.
Atlanta police Sgt. Greg Lyon confirmed investigators are looking into the finances of the gallery. The investigation was sparked after artists complained they were not being paid in full for the work that was sold by Lowe. The gallery is well-known in the area for selling pricey pieces of art.
“It is just terrible, so I'm pleased they have taken action,” said Donald Sultan, who is a nationally known artist living in New York City.
Sultan told Channel 2’s Rachel Stockman that Lowe failed to pay him thousands of dollars after selling his works.
“He paid me a little bit. It strung on for a while until I realized he was just a crook,” Sultan said.
Sultan was one of the first artists to file an official complaint with police.
“He has done this for years to people, and he has been continuing to run his gallery that way, and I thought that has got to be put to a stop because it is hurting a lot of people,” Sultan said.
Bill Lowe sent Stockman a statement saying, "I can state without equivocation that for the past quarter century my gallery has generated for all our artists, and their agents, exceptional incomes and significantly expanded career opportunities. We work tirelessly to advance their interests. The characterization of our interaction with artists as anything other than a vibrant, productive and committed advocacy is inaccurate, and a distortion of the full story of our relationships - many of which extend well over a decade."
Bill's brother, John Lowe, who also works at the gallery, said he was surprised by Tuesday’s raid.
Atlanta police have made no arrests, and no charges have been filed.