facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Picasso seized as part of Italian tax fraud case

June 25, 2013 at 3:12 PM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, June 25 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Justice has seized a Picasso painting owned by an Italian couple accused of stealing millions in taxes they were supposed to collect.

Pablo Picasso painted "Compotier et tasse" in 1909. It is worth an estimated $11.5 million and is owned by Angelo Maj and his wife Gabriella Amati. The couple is accused of fraudulently filing tax receipts collected by companies they owned on behalf of the city of Naples.

Italian prosecutors alleged Amati and Maj orchestrated a number of schemes to embezzle Naples' tax revenue, including the use of fraudulent service contracts, forged accounting records, inflated operational expenses and fraudulently claimed refunds to Naples taxpayers. The end result is 33 million euros ($44 million) was taken from city coffers, prosecutors said.

The Italian government obtained a restraining order for the Picasso painting after arresting Maj and Amati.

Maj has since died.

The U.S. Justice Department won the restraining order preventing the painting's sale or removal in federal court for the Southern District of New York. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers located and seized the painting, which will be transferred to the Italian government as part of the restitution process for the couple's embezzlement.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
School accused of using girl as rape bait; girl gets attacked School accused of using girl as rape bait; girl gets attacked
2
Man who raped pit bull puppy sentenced to five years in prison Man who raped pit bull puppy sentenced to five years in prison
3
40 Islamic State fighters killed in U.S. air strike 40 Islamic State fighters killed in U.S. air strike
4
Man beaten to death by barbell in San Francisco gym Man beaten to death by barbell in San Francisco gym
5
Climate change march attracts hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and others Climate change march attracts hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and others
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback