Drunk Off the Hook for Losing $1.3M Painting

Owner drops lawsuit after figuring out her co-owner's a conman
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2010 7:19 AM CDT
Updated Sep 2, 2010 8:41 AM CDT
"Portrait of a Girl" by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot.   (Hammer Museum)
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(Newser) – Kristyn Trudgeon is dropping her lawsuit against the drunken courier who said he lost her $1.3 million painting after learning that her co-owner was a convicted art thief. Trudgeon realized who she was dealing with when she saw a mugshot of partner Thomas Doyle, the AP reports. Doyle, it turns out, just got out of jail in December, after pleading guilty to swindling a wealthy collector out of an Edgar Degas sculpture.

In that case, Doyle had persuaded the 73-year-old collector to let him take the statue to a famed art dealer, who, he pretended, was a relation. Instead, he made off with the statue, and sold it to an antiques dealer for $225,000. He has also spent time in federal prison for stealing $200,000 worth of jewelry in Tennessee. Trudgeon’s lawyer says she’s “exploring potential legal remedies” against Doyle. (Read more drunkenness stories.)

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