Sep 2, 2010

The case of the missing million dollar painting...because he was drunk!

The case of the missing multi million dollar painting...or why you should never get blindingly drunk and go for a walk with a super expensive piece of art.

I read this article in the New York Times and couldn't help but laugh. There is so much wrong with this story- I can't wait to see if they figure it out.

A Painting Vanishes, and Questions Mount
The lawsuit seemed destined to become a late-night television punch line: man gets drunk, claims he loses million-dollar painting, gets taken to court. The suit was filed on Tuesday in State Supreme Court in Manhattan by Kristyn Trudgeon, a co-owner of the painting, “Portrait of a Girl” by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, valued at $1.35 million, according to the lawsuit. The other owner was identified as a man named Tom Doyle. As the lawsuit tells it, Mr. Doyle hired his friend and co-worker James Carl Haggerty to take the painting to a potential buyer. The next morning, Mr. Haggerty called Mr. Doyle and told him that he no longer had the painting and could not remember where he had been because he had had too much to drink. Ms. Trudgeon sued Mr. Haggerty, and one of her lawyers said he was suspicious of Mr. Haggerty’s explanation. But the case took a turn on Wednesday when it became known that Tom Doyle was Thomas Doyle, 53, who spent more than two years in prison after he pleaded guilty in 2007 to stealing from an art collector a bronze Degas statue of a nude dancer. The news forced Ms. Trudgeon’s lawyer, Max DiFabio, to abruptly withdraw the lawsuit, along with an offer of a $25,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of the painting. Mr. DiFabio said that his client knew nothing of Mr. Doyle’s criminal background and that he would “pursue any and all legal remedies available to my client.”
“We are concerned with regard to Mr. Doyle’s behavior,” Mr. DiFabio said. “I can’t say one way or another as to Mr. Haggerty’s involvement with Mr. Doyle.” Efforts to reach Mr. Doyle on Wednesday were unsuccessful. The police said that they had not been contacted about the case and that no investigation had begun.

The lawsuit, reported by New York news media on Wednesday, said surveillance footage showed Mr. Haggerty leaving the Mark Hotel, at 77th Street and Madison Avenue, about 12:50 a.m. on July 29 with the painting after showing it to a potential buyer. About 2:30 that morning, security video from Mr. Haggerty’s building at a Trump property on Riverside Drive showed him entering without the painting, according to the lawsuit.

Mr. Doyle was paroled from a New York State prison in December after serving his sentence for third-degree grand larceny in the theft of the Degas statue. In that case, he befriended Norman Alexander, a Manhattan art collector, in part by presenting him with a business card that identified him as a descendant of Joseph Duveen, later Lord Duveen of Millbank, a dealer who dominated the international art market during the 1920s and ’30s. Mr. Alexander had entrusted Mr. Doyle with a bronze sculpture of a dancer looking at the sole of her right foot, according to prosecutors. Mr. Doyle said he would buy the statue, worth about $600,000, but never paid Mr. Alexander all the money he was owed, prosecutors said, and sold the statue to an art gallery for $225,000.

Before Mr. Doyle arrived in New York in 2001 — violating his federal parole in Kansas, the authorities said — he had been in trouble with the law. In the early 1990s, Mr. Doyle was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison after stealing books from an art library at the University of Kansas, according to an article in The Kansas City Star. In 2000, he was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay more than $118,000 in restitution after stealing jewelry from a Tennessee woman, according to the authorities and court documents. Mr. Doyle’s parole in that case was revoked for failure to meet his probation officer and failure to pay restitution, according to court documents.

No comments:

Post a Comment