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Art Dealer Claims He Was Swindled

LOS ANGELES (CN) - William Karges Fine Art says a mother-and-son team of "experienced art thieves" sold it a stolen Granville Redmond oil painting called "Brilliant Sunset in a Marsh." The Beverly Hills art dealer sued only Patricia Taylor in the federal lawsuit, but claims that she and her son, Matthew Nelson, "are experienced art thieves who have stolen and fraudulently sold numerous artworks."

Karges says Matthew Nelson "appeared to be a legitimate seller" because "he was well-dressed and drove a black Cadillac," according to the complaint. "Adding to this air of legitimacy, Nelson explained that he and his mother owned an antique store in La Jolla and implied that the painting came from the store."

Karges says it tried to verify that the painting was not stolen by asking Los Angeles police, the International Foundation of Art Research, and a private investigator to look into the legitimacy of the sale.

"These checks seemed to confirm Nelson's story," the lawsuit states.

Karges says it bought the painting for $85,000, then resold it through its Carmel gallery for $252,000. But seven months later, the LAPD seized the painting as stolen. The gallery says it had to give its customer a refund.

Karges says it believes Taylor lives in Florida. It is represented by Eric Bronson with Bird Marella.

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