Vermeer's The Concert

Vermeer's The Concert

Monday, March 18, 2013

Stolen Art Watch, Gardner Art Offered To Joseph 'Uncle Joe' Ligambi, Joey Merlino In The "Boca Raton" Frame


 
Art Hostage Comments:
Joseph "Joey" Merlino in The Frame

The Gardner art was offered to Uncle Joe Ligambi, via Joseph "Mousie" Massimino  back in 2001 and the indications are, or the spin coming from the sources close to the Philly family are he failed to secure them. However, what with Uncle Joe looking like he will walk soon, if the retrial fails to convict him, perhaps the FBI could offer him immunity and the Gardner Museum could firm up their reward offer of $5 million, then finally the Gardner art may come home. However, perhaps authorities are banking on a conviction at the April retrial (Now postponed until October 2013) to use as leverage to smoke out the Gardner art.
Heat is focused on Boca Raton where Joey Merlino is residing after being released from jail as he could hold the key to the Gardner art and authorities hope this current publicity will provoke the vital lead that could see the Gardner art surface. Expect a raid of the home of Joey Merlino if no positive leads devleops.
Furthermore, time to announce the recovery of 
Degas, La Sortie de Pesage
Degas, Cortège aux Environs de Florence
 as it has been under wraps all this time.

Art Hostage would like to yet again publicly state no desire for any reward money, fake or real and would only be too happy to pass on the location of where the Gardner art can be found, no arrests, no stings, no strings, not requests for reward at all.

Remember Art Hostage first called for the Gardner art to be deposited in a Catholic Church Confession box over a decade ago, right about the time the Gardner art was being offered in Philadelphia, and a Catholic Priest, Bishop or Cardinal should be used as a conduit for the safe return of the Gardner art.  
New Pope, New Dawn, Gardner Art discovered in a Catholic Church confession box, using the symbolism of absolution.

 FBI knows who Gardner thieves are but won't say

In a blockbuster announcement, the FBI said today they know the thieves who pulled off the infamous Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist 23 years ago today -- but they're not identifying who they are.
Those unnamed suspects are from "a criminal organization," the FBI said, who failed to fence the $500 million in masterpieces in Connecticut and the Philadelphia region in the years after the brazen break-in.
The FBI is now asking for the public's help in solving one of the worst crimes in U.S. history.
“The FBI believes with a high degree of confidence in the years after the theft the art was transported to Connecticut and the Philadelphia region and some of the art was taken to Philadelphia where it was offered for sale by those responsible for the theft.” Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Boston office, said. “With that same confidence we have identified the thieves who are members of a criminal organization with a base in the mid-Atlantic states and New England.”
The FBI said the trail of the 13 stolen works of art has gone cold and they want to get the word out in the U.S. and "around the world." It's a campaign similar to the hunt for James "Whitey" Bulger when a renewed publicity campaign helped lead to the mobster's arrest in Southern California in 2011.
On March 18, 1990, two burglars disguised as Boston police officers broke into the Gardner museum in the Fenway neighborhood and made off with the art by masters including Rembrandt, Vermeer, Degas and Manet.
Two night guards were found in the museum’s basement handcuffed to pipes and bound with duct tape.
U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said today the $5 million reward remains on the table and immunity is "possible" for anyone who concealed the art all these years.
"I cannot give blanket immunity without knowing the specifics," Ortiz said, adding "immunity is still available. It's a strong possibility." She also said no charges can be filed for the robbery itself, since the statute of limitations has since expired. Anyone can be charged, she added, for possession of the stolen artwork.

Here is the FBI press release:
The FBI, along with Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, released new information about one of the largest property crimes in U.S. history, the art theft from the museum more than two decades ago. The FBI is appealing to the public for help in what is one of the FBI’s Top Ten Art Crimes.
The FBI believes it has determined where the stolen art was transported in the years after the theft and that it knows the identity of the thieves, Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Boston office, revealed for the first time in the 23 year investigation. “The FBI believes with a high degree of confidence in the years after the theft the art was transported to Connecticut and the Philadelphia region and some of the art was taken to Philadelphia where it was offered for sale by those responsible for the theft.” DesLauriers added, “With that same confidence we have identified the thieves who are members of a criminal organization with a base in the mid-Atlantic states and New England.” After the attempted sale, which took place approximately a decade ago, the FBI’s knowledge of the art’s whereabouts is limited.
Information is being sought from those who possess, or know the whereabouts of, the 13 stolen works of art, including rare paintings by Rembrandt and Vermeer, by publicizing new details about the case and continuing to highlight the $5 million reward for the return of the art. Although the FBI does not know where the art is currently located, the FBI is continuing its search, both in and beyond the Connecticut and Philadelphia areas. “With this announcement, we want to widen the ‘aperture of awareness’ of this crime, to the reach the American public and others around the world,” said DesLauriers.
Anthony Amore, the museum’s chief of security, noted that the reward is for “information that leads directly to the recovery of all of our items in good condition.” He further explained, “You don’t have to hand us the paintings to be eligible for the reward. We hope that through this media campaign people will see how earnest we are in our attempts to pay this reward and make our institution whole. We simply want to recover our paintings and move forward. Today marks 23 years since the robbery. It’s time for these paintings to come home.”
“The investigation into the Gardner Museum theft has been an active and aggressive effort, with law enforcement following leads and tracking down potential sources of information around the globe. Over the past three years, I have visited the museum several times, and each time I entered the Dutch Room and saw the empty frames, I was reminded of the enormous impact of this theft. I do remain optimistic that one day soon the paintings will be returned to their rightful place in the Fenway, as Mrs. Gardner intended,” said U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz. “As we have said in the past, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will consider the possibility of immunity from criminal prosecution for information that leads to the return of the paintings based on the set of facts and circumstances brought to our attention. Our primary goal is, and always has been, to have the paintings returned.”
To recover stolen items and prosecute art and cultural property crime, the FBI has a specialized Art Crime Team of 14 Special Agents supported by special trial attorneys. The team investigates theft, fraud, looting and trafficking across state and international lines with estimated losses running as high as $6 billion annually. The FBI also runs the National Stolen Art File, a computerized index of stolen art and cultural properties that is used as a reference by law enforcement agencies worldwide.
The FBI stressed that anyone with information about the artwork may contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL FBI (1-800-225-5324) or the museum directly or through a third party, said Special Agent Geoffrey Kelly, who is the lead investigator for the theft and a member of the art crime team, “In the past, people who realize they are in possession of stolen art have returned the art in a variety of ways, including through third parties, attorneys and anonymously leaving items in churches or at police stations.” Tips may also be submitted online at https://tips.fbi.gov.
The publicity campaign announced today includes a dedicated FBI website on the Gardner Museum theft, video postings on FBI social media sites, publicity on digital billboards in Philadelphia region, and a podcast. To view and listen to these items, link to the FBI’s new website about the theft: www.FBI.gov/gardner.
Here is a list of the art stolen ...
Rembrandt, The Storm on the Sea of Galilee, 1633

Rembrandt, A Lady and Gentleman in Black, 1633

Vermeer, The Concert, 1658–1660

Manet, Chez Tortoni, 1878–1880

Govaert Flinck, Landscape with an Obelisk, 1638

Degas, La Sortie de Pesage

Degas, Cortège aux Environs de Florence

Degas, Program for an Artistic Soirée, Study 2, 1884

Degas, Program for an Artistic Soirée, 1884

Chinese Bronze Beaker or Ku, 1200–1100 B.C.

Finial in the form of an eagle, French, 1813–1814

Degas, Three Mounted Jockeys

Rembrandt, Self-Portrait, ca. 1634

 Uncle Joe, Gardner Art & Retrial

JOSEPH LIGAMBI may be a gray-haired 73-year-old who is quick with a smile and wisecrack for family and friends in the courtroom, but to federal prosecutors he is much too "cunning" and "vicious" to be released on bail while awaiting retrial for racketeering conspiracy and related charges.
After hearing spirited arguments Monday from prosecutors and defense attorney Edwin Jacobs Jr., U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno rejected Ligambi's bail motion, ensuring that he will sit in a jail cell as he prepares for his April 16 retrial.
Ligambi, who is known as "Uncle Joe" and is believed to be the boss of Philadelphia's La Cosa Nostra mob, came to court in a green prison jumpsuit and left taking the ruling, seemingly, in stride.
"That was a surprise," he said, grinning at his supporters as a marshal cuffed him.
"That was a cliff-hanger," Jacobs deadpanned.
Earlier this month, Ligambi was found not guilty of five criminal counts by a federal jury, which deadlocked on four other counts.
The jury - which sat through three months of testimony and deliberated for 21 days - acquitted Ligambi co-defendant Joseph "Scoops" Licata. Reputed underboss Joseph "Mousie" Massimino, mob soldier Damion Canalichio and mob associate Gary Battaglini were convicted of racketeering conspiracy. Anthony Staino was convicted of loan-sharking.
Ligambi's nephew, former mob consigliere George Borgesi, who's been imprisoned since 2000, was acquitted of 13 counts but remains jailed on a single racketeering-conspiracy count on which the jury deadlocked.
In all, the jury found the seven alleged mobsters guilty on five counts, not guilty on 46 and deadlocked on 11. The latter 11 counts paved the way for the feds to seek retrials.
During Monday's hearing, Jacobs argued that the government's failure to win any convictions against Ligambi should entitle him to bail, which his family could pay with more than $500,000 in equity from six to seven homes, Jacobs said.
U.S. Attorney Frank Labor countered that the charges Ligambi faces retrial for and the convictions of his co-defendants establish that he is a danger to the community and should stay jailed.


3 comments:

Anonymous said...

statute of limitations stop running "tolls" when the perp leaves the jurisdiction, thus if the plan had perps in and out of the state, one has to know the location of the perps. Then you have the continuing conspiracy. The statute of limitations on the conspiracy does not begin to run until the conspiracy is over. Hiding the loot is part of the on-going conspiracy. Plus, there are fed charges of transporting across state lines, use of the mails and wires (telephone) each time, so, no, the statute of limitations has not run by any reasonable review of the facts. Multiple continuing felonies. Each time the perps talk to each other either in person or on a cell, facebook, etc. the conspiracy is still on. So, time has not run. The property is known so upon discovery it must be returned; no real sale value. Sentence for conspiracy is generally the same as the perfected crime, from asault, impersonating a cop, robbery, fed crimes, etc. Big time.


Anonymous said...

Peter Boylan, the man who provided the Police uniforms used in the Gardner Art Heist should have been arrested by now

Anonymous said...

Sr or Jr????