Art Thief Thomas Doyle Sentenced to Six Years in Prison for Fraudulent Sale of Corot Painting

corot portrait girl1 300x300 Art Thief Thomas Doyle Sentenced to Six Years in Prison for Fraudulent Sale of Corot Painting

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot "Portrait of a Girl"

Thomas Doyle, who pleaded guilty in July of wire fraud in the $880,000 sale of a Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot painting, was sentenced to six years in prison according to a spokesperson for Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York. Mr. Doyle, 54, had told Gary Fitzgerald that he could have the Corot work for $1.1 million and that he (Mr. Doyle) would chip in $220,000 for a 20 percent share. Mr. Fitzgerald sent him $880,000. As it turns out, the painting was worth between $500,000 and $700,000 and Mr. Doyle had already negotiated to buy the painting for just $750,000 before inflating the price. As we mentioned earlier this year, the Corot painting, called Portrait of a Girl, has a sordid history, even beyond the fraudulent sale.

Back in 2010 Kristyn Trudgeon, a co-owner of the Corot sued her sales agent, James Carl Haggerty, after he took the painting to the Mark Hotel to meet a potential buyer, then allegedly got drunk and lost the painting on his way home. The painting was later found by a doorman in an apartment across from the Metropolitan Museum. (Ms. Trudgeon later dropped the charges).

Mr. Doyle has already been to prison for the theft of a Degas sculpture back in 2007.