Saturday, January 26, 2013

Wilfredo Lam Artworks Purchased with Drug Proceeds Forfeited

Artworks purchased with drug trafficking money have been forfeited to federal authorities in the case of U.S. v. One Canvas and Three Ink Work Paintings by Artist Wilfredo Lam (Dist. Ct. N. Dist. FL 13-CV-8).  The paintings were surrendered by a convicted conspirator who was part of a $14 to $15 million drug trafficking operation during the 1980's, according to an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) criminal investigator's affidavit filed in court last week.  The defendant reportedly fled the jurisdiction in 1986 before being apprehended in 2011.

A plea agreement concluded by prosecutors in the northern federal district of Florida called for the surrender of the Wilfredo Lam paintings.  The IRS affidavit reports that the defendant accounted for $1.7 million in drug proceeds and admitted that drug money was invested in artwork.

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