THOMAS DOYLE PLEADS GUILTY TO DEFRAUDING PURCHASER OF JEAN-BAPTISTE CAMILLE COROT’S PAINTING ‘PORTRAIT OF A GIRL’

July 11 2011 – PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the
Southern District of New York, announced that THOMAS DOYLE pled
guilty today before U.S. Magistrate Judge THEODORE H. KATZ to one
count of wire fraud in connection with his fraudulent purchase of
Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot’s “Portrait of a Girl” painting.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney PREET BHARARA said: “Thomas
Doyle’s purchase of ‘Portrait of a Girl’ was never authentic or
genuine, and now he will pay for his sham with prison time.”
According to the Complaint, the underlying Indictment,
and DOYLE’s plea allocution:
Between May and August of 2010, DOYLE fraudulently
solicited approximately $880,000 from an investor (“Victim-1”),
by stating that together, DOYLE and Victim-1, could purchase the
Corot Painting from a third party for $1,100,000. Victim-1 would
pay $880,000 and DOYLE would provide the remaining $220,000. In
exchange, Victim-1 would hold an 80 percent ownership interest in
the Corot Painting, and DOYLE would hold the remaining 20
percent. DOYLE and Victim-1 planned to resell the Corot Painting
at a profit.
Unbeknownst to Victim-1, during the same time period,
DOYLE negotiated the purchase of the Corot Painting from the
third party for $775,000, approximately $100,000 less than the
amount paid by Victim-1. After acquiring the painting in June
2010 and depositing Victim-1’s money into his bank account, DOYLE
further misled Victim-1 concerning the possible resale of the
painting. In June 2010, DOYLE told Victim-1 that he had located
a buyer willing to pay $1,700,000. In fact, it could not be sold
for that amount. An experienced art appraiser from an auction
house estimated that it could sell for between $500,000 and
$700,000 at an auction.
After DOYLE acquired the Corot Painting, a coconspirator
stored it in a storage facility in Manhattan.
DOYLE’s co-conspirator later removed it without authorization.
* * *
DOYLE, 53, of New York, New York, faces a maximum
sentence of 20 years in prison, a maximum term of supervised
release of three years, and a maximum fine of $250,000, or twice
the gross gain or loss from the offense. DOYLE also admitted to
forfeiture allegations requiring him to forfeit $880,000, DOYLE’s
interest in the Corot Painting, and one 1993 Ferrari Mondial T
Cabriolet. He is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge COLLEEN
MCMAHON on October 11, 2011.
Mr. BHARARA thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation
for their assistance.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys ZACHARY FEINGOLD and AMANDA
KRAMER are in charge of the prosecution.
11-201 ###

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