Florida man gets nearly 2 years in art theft, fraud

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) – A Florida man has been sentenced to just under two years in federal prison for trying to sell stolen artworks by Picasso and Chagall.

Marcus Patmon of Miami was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Delaware on Wednesday to 23 months behind bars and ordered to pay restitution. He pleaded guilty in October to mail fraud, attempted wire fraud and the interstate transport of stolen goods.

According to court papers and attorneys, Patmon was inspired by an episode of Antiques Roadshow to steal and resell art to regain the lifestyle he lost after a 2001 assault conviction.

Patmon admitted selling a Chagall lithograph and Picasso etching he stole from a Washington gallery in 2007. When he tried to sell Picasso etchings from a Palm Beach, Fla., gallery, a dealer notified police and a Delaware-based federal agent posed as the dealer’s employee.

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Information from: The (Wilmington, Del.) News Journal, http://www.delawareonline.com

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AP-ES-01-14-10 0635EST