Duo Jailed After Trying to Sell Stolen Matisse Painting to Undercover FBI Agents
Two people were sentenced for their roles in the attempted sale of a stolen Henri Matisse painting in Miami Beach.
Pedro Antonio Marcuello Guzman of Miami was sentenced to 33 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release, and Maria Martha Elisa Ornelas Lazo of Mexico City received a sentence of 21 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release, said msnbc.com.
The pair pleaded guilty Oct. 30 to charges relating to the transportation, possession and attempted sale of "Odalisque in Red Pants" by Matisse, which was was stolen from the Caracas Museum of Contemporary Art in Venezuela around December 2002, they said.
Marcuello negotiated the painting's sale for about $740,000 in a series of meetings with undercover FBI agents between December 2011 and July 13, 2012, msnbc.com said.
He also agreed to have the work transported by courier from Mexico to the U.S., and on July 16 Ornelas took "Odalisque in Red Pants" from Mexico City to Miami, according to msnbc.com.
The next day, on July 17, Marcuello and Ornelas produced the painting to undercover agents as part of the purported sale, authorities said. Both defendants knew the artwork had been stolen, the report said.