Paint by Con — Co-Owner of Missing Corot Painting Charged with Fraud
September 14, 2010
Thomas Doyle was arrested on charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud in the dealings over a century-and-a-half-old painting by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot entitled “Portrait of a Girl.”
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A criminal complaint in U.S. District Court in Manhattan said Doyle convinced the investor to pay him the $880,000 for the circa 1857 painting, which he was supposed to then buy for $1.1 million. Authorities said Doyle had already bought the painting for $775,000 and pocketed an extra $105,000 by charging the investor too much.
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The FBI began investigating after the investor, Kristyn Trudgeon, filed a lawsuit alleging that she had been a victim of fraud in the disappearance of the painting when a man entrusted with helping to sell it claimed he lost the art in New York City in July when he was intoxicated. The lawsuit has since been withdrawn.