Acting U.S. Attorney David C. Weiss and Tricia A. Gibbs, Federal Bureau of Investigation
(FBI) Supervisory Special Agent announced today the unsealing of an indictment charging Marcus Patmon with wire fraud in the attempted sale of a stolen Pablo Picasso etching entitled "Le Repas Frugal."
The indictment charges that Patmon devised a scheme to defraud a victim identified as "C.E.B." by falsely claiming to be the true owner of "Le Repas Frugal" in connection with its attempted sale. In fact, as Patmon knew, "Le Repas Frugal" had been previously stolen from a West Palm Beach, Fla., art gallery, on May 22, 2008. From July through September 2008, an FBI special agent, acting in an undercover capacity, engaged Patmon in negotiations concerning the sale of the etching, which has an estimated value of $300,000.
Patmon, 38, is a resident of Miami, Fla. He faces a maximum statutory sentence of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release, restitution, and a $100 mandatory special assessment.
Acting U.S. Attorney David C. Weiss said, "This investigation and prosecution demonstrate our commitment to addressing the illicit sale of stolen art, a problem that is international in scope. I applaud our law enforcement partners, the FBI Art Crime Team and the Palm Beach Police Department, for the thorough investigation that exposed this scheme. Our office will continue to vigorously investigate and prosecute art crime in the future."
This case is being prosecuted by David L. Hall, Assistant U.S. Attorney.