SF art dealer convicted of mail and wire fraud 

Works of art by Willem de Kooning, Pablo Picasso and Edgar Degas, to name a few, were shipped from New York City to a San Francisco art dealer last year.

The problem was, the Sea Cliff art dealer never picked up the tab for them. And it was a big bill: about $11 million.

For that Luke D. Brugnara, 51, was found guilty by a federal jury Tuesday on charges of mail and wire fraud, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office press release. Brugnara refused to pay for the famous art sent to his home in April and May 2014, claiming later in court that an art auction house in New York City called and told him the artwork was fake. But evidence presented proved that was not the case.

The trial did prove to jurors, however, that the FBI found four crates of famous artwork at Brugnara’s residence. The fifth piece sent to him, an Edgar Degas sculpture, has not been found,” the release said.

Before his conviction, Brugnara was held in custody from May 28 last year until Feb. 5. He was filmed sprinting from the San Francisco Federal Building after a Feb. 5 hearing. But he was arrested six days later in Los Gatos by U.S. Marshals and FBI. Brugnara will be sentenced for his convictions Sept. 8 in San Francisco. He faces more than 25 years in prison and a fine of $500,000 for wire fraud, false declarations to the court, escape and contempt of court.

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