News and Press Releases

MARTIN COUNTY RESIDENT PLED GUILTY TO INTERSTATE TRANSPORTATION OF STOLEN ARTWORK

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 9, 2010

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Field Office, announced that defendant Robert C. Dibartolo pled guilty on July 13, 2010, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Linnea R. Johnson in West Palm Beach, Florida to one count of interstate transportation of stolen artwork, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 2315.

Sentencing has been scheduled for September 20, 2010 in West palm Beach before U.s. District Court Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks. Dibartolo faces a maximum term of incarceration of 10 years.

According to the allegations in the complaint and the defendant’s guilty plea, on April 18, 2004, individuals forcibly broke into a home in Saint Louis, Missouri. The unknown persons stole a valuable painting that hung in the front foyer of the residence. The artwork, a Juan Gris original, untitled, oil on canvas, 1926, is a still life cubist impressionist work valued at approximately $1 million.

According to court documents, on November 8, 2009, the defendant spoke to an undercover agent regarding the potential purchase of a Juan Gris painting that the defendant was attempting to sell. On March 11, 2010, the defendant met with the undercover agent in a hotel in Jupiter, Florida. During the meeting, the defendant produced the original Juan Gris painting, wrapped in a light blue Ryder packing blanket. Upon determination by the undercover agent that the painting was authentic, the defendant was arrested.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office in this matter. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lothrop Morris.

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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