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Art Fraud Case ends with a Six-Year Sentence

Remember her? some $1.35 million painting, “Portrait of a Girl” by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, painter of the Barbizon school in France? She was purchased by Thomas Doyle in 2010 for a reported $775,000 and became a pawn in a scheme to defraud another art investor, Gary Fitzgerald, of $880,000. Doyle had led this investor believe that he would resell the artwork for $1.7 million but instead, he collected the money from Fitzgerald without ever delivering the artwork.

Later when the scheme started unwinding, Doyle claimed to have given the painting to a friend who allegedly lost it. The painting was found on the Upper East Side under suspicious circumstances.

The New York Times reported that in court Doyle portrayed himself as a reformed convict but the judge did not buy this act. Judge Colleen McMahon said “he lacked respect for the law.” She ordered Doyle to pay Fitzgerald $880,000 in restitution and handed down an incarceration and probation sentence, which is twice the stipulated amount according to the guidelines regulating Doyle’s guilty plea and his plea bargain. Doyle’s attorney, Donald Duboulay, plans to appeal. There is nothing romantic about Doyle and his plight — he has 11 convictions accumulated over a 34-year period. It probably did not help either that the judge’s favorite painting happened to be another work by Corot.

Source: The New York Times.