Officials from the McMichael Canadian Art Collection still hope to recover $1 million a legal adviser stole from a trust fund despite his death last week.
Geoffrey Zimmerman – who served on the Kleinburg gallery’s board for 11 years and was sole trustee to the McMichael’s $5 million fortune – was under court order to repay the sum he had taken from the estate.
A series of court cases in the 2000s found Zimmerman, 52, had used the funds to pay for personal expenses, bar tabs, limousines, vacations and sailboat repairs – money meant to support several art groups and charities.
He blamed his behaviour on alcoholism, depression and an anxiety disorder.
The gallery’s board of trustees said they were saddened by the death, but in time still plan to collect the embezzled funds.