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CRESPO David Indictment

CRESPO David Indictment

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Published by Helen Bennett

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Published by: Helen Bennett on Aug 08, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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08/09/2012

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UNITEDSTATESDISTRICTCOURT
FILED
DISTRICTOFCONNECTICW2
AUG8
PPl
1
06
u.s.
DISTRICT
COUR~/'-)
UNITEDSTATESOFAMERICACRIMINALl'm.W3r~TI?,,*613v.DAVIDJ.CRESPOVIOLATIONS:18U.S.C.
§
1343(WireFraud)18U.S.C.
§
1341(MailFraud)18U.S.C.
§
2(AidingandAbetting)INDICTMENTTheGrandJurychargesthat:COUNTSONETHROUGHNINE(WireFraud)BackgroundAtalltimesmaterialtothisIndictment:1.ThedefendantDAVIDJ.CRESPO("CRESPO")wastheownerandoperatoroftheBrandonGallery,LLC,locatedinMadison,Connecticut(the"BrandonGallery").AstheownerandoperatoroftheBrandonGallery,CRESPOsoldwhatheclaimedtobefineartworkandcollectiblestomembersofthepublic.CRESPOheldhimselfouttocustomersashavingexpertise
in
fineart.2.CompanyAwasabusinesslocatedinMiami,Florida,whichboughtandsold
art
andcollectibles,primarilythrougheBayovertheinternet.TheownerandoperatorofCompanyA,whoseidentityisknowntheGrandJuryandisreferredhereinas"HP,"operatedCompanyAfromhishome.HPdidnotholdacollegeorgraduatedegreeandhadnoformaltraininginart.
 
3.CompanyBwasan
art
gallerylocatedinNewYork.4.VictimsA-IandA-2,whoseidentitiesareknowntotheGrandJury,wereahusbandandwifewhoresidedinMassachusetts.5.VictimB,whoseidentityisknowntotheGrandJury,residedinConnecticut6.VictimC,whoseidentityisknowntotheGrandJury.residedinConnecticut.7.VictimD,whoseidentityisknowntotheGrandJury.residedinConnecticut.8.VictimE,whoseidentityisknowntotheGrandJury,residedinConnecticut.9.PabloPicassoandMarcChagallarewidelyconsideredtobeamongthegreatestandmostinfluentialartistsofthe20
th
Century.Originalpaintingsanddrawingsbytheseartists,andoriginallithographsauthorizedandsignedbythem,canbeworthasubstantialamountofmoney.TheSchemeandArtificetoDefraud10.Fromapproximately
2005
toapproximatelyFebruary
10,2011,
theprecisedatesbeingunknowntotheGrandJury,intheDistrictofConnecticutandelsewhere,CRESPO,knowingly,willfullyandwithintenttodefraud,devisedandintendedtodeviseaschemeandartificetodefraudandtoobtainmoneyandpropertybymeansofmateriallyfalseandfraudulentpretenses.representations,andpromises,andforthepurposesofexecutingsuchschemeandartifice,didknowinglytransmit,andcausetobetransmitted,bymeansofwirecommunicationininterstatecommerce.certainwritings,signs,signalsandsounds.
2
 
TheMannerandMeansoftheSchemetoDefraudThemannerandmeansbywhichCRESPOsoughttoanddidaccomplishtheschemetodefraudincluded,amongotherthings,thefollowing:11.ItwaspartoftheschemeandartificetodefraudthatCRESPOfalselyrepresentedthatworksof
art
displayedintheBrandonGallerywereoriginalandauthenticPicassodrawings.12.ItwasfurtherpartoftheschemeandartificetodefraudthatCRESPOcreatedprovenancesonwhichheforged,orcausetohaveforged,thenameofanotherperson.13.ItwasfurtherpartoftheschemetodefraudthatCRESPOfalsifiedthecredentialsoftheindividualpurportingtosigntheprovenances.14.ItwasfurtherpartoftheschemeandartificetodefraudthatCRESPOinducedvictimstoinvestmoneyandpropertyinartcollections,promisingareturnontheirinvestmentswhenpiecesoftheartcollectionweresold,butfailedtoinformthevictimswhentheartworkhadbeensoldandfailedtopaythosevictimstheirshareoftheproceedsfromthesales.15.ItwasfurtherpartoftheschemeandartificetodefraudthatCRESPOfalselyrepresentedthatworksof
art
displayedintheBrandonGallerywereoriginalandvaluableoriginalChagalllithographswhen,intruthand
in
fact,theywereoffsetorphotomechanicalprintsfromabook("bookcut-outs"),whichwereoflittleornovalue.3

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