Con Man, Thief & Cheat Blames It on Mom

     LOS ANGELES (CN) – A Florida man was sentenced to 7 1/2 years in federal prison for selling paintings he stole from a Los Angeles art gallery, and ducking his taxes.
     Matthew Taylor, 45, of Vero Beach, also was ordered to pay $1.2 million in restitution: $106,152 to two art galleries and $1.1 million the IRS.
     A federal jury convicted him in August 2012 of five federal felonies, including wire fraud, possession of stolen property that had crossed state lines, and tax evasion.
     Taylor stole several paintings from Los Angeles Fine Art Gallery, including a Granville Redmond work called “Seascape at Twilight,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement. He sold the Seascape to another gallery for $85,000, claiming it was his mother’s.
     He stole an untitled Lucien Frank from the same gallery and took it to Florida, erased Frank’s signature from it and tried to sell it to a collector as someone else’s work.
     He blamed his mother for his tax problems, though she has dementia, prosecutors said in the statement.
     All in all, Taylor is not a nice man the U.S. attorney said in the statement, which concluded: “Taylor’s ‘repeated attempts to blame his mother for his crimes are demonstrative of his history and characteristics,’ prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memo filed with the court. ‘In short, defendant has demonstrated that he is a con man, a thief, a tax-cheat, and a liar, who has no compunctions about using others (such as his girlfriend) and blaming others (such as his mother or his pretrial officer) if it is to his advantage. He has steadfastly refused to accept responsibility for his crimes, and has repeatedly acknowledged that he moved money around to avoid seizure by the IRS.”

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