Peter Max Sued $1M Over Famous VH1 Corvette Collection

Dec 17, 2014 03:00 PM EST | Matt Mercuro

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Pop artists Peter Max is in trouble again, this time over his famous Corvette collection.

Businessmen Jeff Wallner and Kenneth Simmons claim they were hired by Max to help sell 36 Chevrolet Corvettes in collection for a 10-percent commission. Only problem is they never saw any money.

Wallner and Simmons claim Max never paid them, so they are now suing him for $1 million, according to a report by The New York Post.

Max, 77, acquired the vehicles, one from each year of Corvette production up to 1989, after purchasing them from Dennis Amodeo, who won them in a VH1 giveaway. He said at the time that the cars would be part of a "unique project."

Unfortunately he was too busy with other things, like a legal battle with the Internal Revenue Service that led to a guilty plea for tax fraud.

Max ended up canceling the project and put all the Corvettes in a garage instead.  The rides were kept in horrible condition, some of which severely deteriorated over the years, collecting dirt and dust.

Some persuasive buyers helped convince Max to sell off the entire collection earlier this year for an unspecified amount.

Wallner and Simmons also helped sell Max's famous "Statute of Liberty" painting to a collector for $500,000. After the collector learned that the artist had not "painted in years" she was mad and had to be calmed down with a Marilyn Monroe original by the artist and four portraits, the lawsuit reads.

Though Wallner hasn't been paid yet, he did learn some valuable information: Max has a team of "ghost-painters" who work near his West 65th Street studio, according to The Post.

Max just signs his name "on the artwork when it's completed," the court papers claim.

Wallner and Simmons were also cheated out of commissions on a contract to do lithographs of sport celebrities like Derek Jeter. Max has yet to complete the first Jeter lithograph.

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