August 27, 2012
A Florida-based art dealer now faces a maximum sentence of 55 years in federal prison after being convicted of all charges relating to an art theft from a West Los Angeles gallery. As reported by The Los Angeles Times, the 44-year-old man was found guilty on August 14 of selling and possessing two stolen paintings.
Charges alleged that the man stole a landscape painting by Granville Redmond, a California impressionist, and then sold it for $85,000, claiming that it belonged to his mother. Additionally, he was accused of possessing a second painting, by Lucien Frank, which had also been stolen from the same West L.A. art gallery. The man had apparently painted over Frank's signature, claimed that it was by another artist, and attempted to sell the artwork.
The man's attorney claimed that he was framed by a longtime client and that the charges had stemmed from a misunderstanding over two other paintings. However, the man was convicted of grand theft and possession of stolen property, as well as failing to pay income taxes on the $1.4 million that he made in 2005 and 2006. Prior to the trial, the man also faced charges of selling artwork totaling $2 million in fake artwork, claiming they were by artists such as Jackson Pollack and Claude Monet. However, these charges were dropped prior to the trial.
Grand theft under California Penal Code Section 487 is defined as the illegal taking of property valued at greater than $950. Additionally, possession of stolen property can be defined as a misdemeanor or felony under Penal Code Section 497, with felonies punished by 16 months, two years, or three years in state prison.
At The Law Offices of Daniel E. Kann, a Los Angeles grand theft defense lawyer can provide you with the representation you need in order to face tenacious prosecution and harsh penalties. To learn more about how our skilled legal team can use their years of experience for your benefit, call us today at (888) 744-7730.