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Corot Painting Scam Slaps Man With 6 Yr Prison Sentence

JeanBaptiste-Camille Corot’s "Portrait of a Girl" and Thomas Doyle's mugshot. (via

Remember that bizarre story last year of a drunken courier losing a small painting by renowned 19th C. French painter JeanBaptiste-Camille Corot in Manhattan? Sure it’s one of those “Only in New York” kind of stories but the man who is in the middle of the Corot drama has finally been sentenced to prison for scamming an unsuspecting investor.

The US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, announced that Thomas Doyle, 54, was sentenced today to six years in prison for fraudulently soliciting approximately $880,000 from a Japanese art collector in connection with the purchase of JeanBaptiste-Camille Corot’s “Portrait of a Girl.”

How did he do it? He asked for $880,000 from the collector, though the painting was supposedly $1.1 million (he was supposedly going to kick in the rest himself) and then turned around and bought the work for only $775,000 and bought himself a 1993 Ferrari (as a gift, we assume).

“Thomas Doyle was the quintessential conartist and now he will pay for his crime. The Corot painting is safely in the FBI’s possession, and the Government has forfeited both Doyle’s interest in the painting, and the Ferrari sports car he bought with the fraud proceeds,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in the official press release.

In addition to his prison term, Judge McMahon sentenced DOYLE to three years of supervised release, and ordered him to pay an $880,000 money judgment and pay the victim $880,000 in restitution.

While Doyle has a lot of time in prison to think about how he messed up, at least he can brag that he made it on the FBI website, which much be worth SOMETHING in prison bragging rights, right?

 Photos via nypost.com and bloomberg.com. H/t Aaron S.

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