Martin County Man Charged with Interstate Transportation of Stolen Artwork
|U.S. Attorney’s Office March 11, 2010|
Jeffrey H. Sloman, 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 Robert C. Dibartolo was charged with the interstate transportation of stolen artwork.
According to the criminal complaint and affidavit, on April 18, 2004, unknown subjects forcibly broke into a home in Saint Louis, Missouri. The unknown subjects stole a valuable painting hanging 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 the 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 taken into custody. The painting was later identified by its original owner.
If convicted, Dibartolo faces a term of imprisonment of up to 10 years.
Mr. Sloman 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.
A complaint is only an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
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 www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.