LAWFUEL – The Legal News Service – MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and MARK J. MERSHON, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau
of Investigation (“FBI”) announced today the arrest of ANGELA
HAMBLIN on art fraud charges. HAMBLIN, 58, of Revere,
Massachusetts, was charged with one count of mail fraud in
connection with her scheme to sell fake works of art over the
internet auction website eBay and in private transactions.
HAMBLIN was arrested this morning at her home and later appeared
in federal court in Boston. According to the Complaint unsealed
today and filed in Manhattan federal court:
HAMBLIN engaged in a fraudulent scheme to sell various
paintings that she represented to be works of art by such artists
as Joseph Mallord William Turner (the British watercolorist and
printmaker), Milton Avery (the American abstract expressionist
painter), Franz Kline (the American abstract painter), and Juan
Gris (the Spanish Cubist painter and sculptor), when she knew
that the paintings were not authentic works of art by these famed
artists. HAMBLIN made various claims about where she acquired
the paintings, including that she or her husband had inherited
the paintings from long-dead relatives, and that they purchased
one of the paintings from a now-dead seller. With respect to one
of the paintings, HAMBLIN claimed that the artist had given it to
George Balanchine, the choreographer, who had in turn sold it to
Experts have determined that all four of the paintings
described in the Complaint, which HAMBLIN offered for sale, are
fakes. Experts made the determination by examining the paintings
themselves or images of the paintings.
GARCIA praised the investigative work of the New York
and Boston offices of the FBI, which led to today’s arrest.
If convicted, HAMBLIN faces a maximum of twenty years
in prison on the mail fraud count charged in the Complaint.
This case is being prosecuted by the Major Crimes Unit
of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District
of New York. Assistant United States Attorney CHRISTINE MEDING
is in charge of the prosecution.
The charges and allegations contained in the Complaint
are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent
unless and until proven guilty.