David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Kimberly K. Mertz, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced that a federal grand jury sitting in New Haven returned a 12-count indictment today charging David Crespo, 58, of Guilford with mail fraud and wire fraud offenses stemming from his alleged sale of fraudulent artwork.
The indictment alleges that, from approximately 2005 to February 2011, Crespo, an art dealer who conducted business under the name Brandon Gallery in Madison, defrauded his customers by representing that artwork he sold were original pieces by Pablo Picasso and original signed lithographs by Marc Chagall. Crespo also created documents that falsely supported the provenance of the artwork, which he then provided to customers.
The indictment charges Crespo with nine counts of wire fraud and three counts of mail fraud. If convicted, he faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years on each count.
Crespo has been released on a $50,000 bond since his arrest on April 3, 2012.
U.S. Attorney Fein stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Madison Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anthony E. Kaplan.