San Francisco real estate mogul Luke Brugnara has been charged with mail fraud following the aborted purchase of $11 million in works by Willem de Kooning, Edgar Degas, Joan Miró, and Pablo Picasso. Brugnara reportedly purchased the works from a New York dealer with the intent of opening a museum, but never paid for the artworks, claiming he had received them as a gift. When the dealer accompanied the works to California for delivery, she was astonished to find that the address he had given was not inhabited. “Brugnara instructed the delivery personnel to leave the crates in his garage. The art dealer had never before seen anyone request art of such value to be placed in a garage,” writes FBI special agent Jeremy Desor.
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