A reader alerted us to this story from earlier in the month where the FBI ran a sting on Kurt Lidtke, a former Seattle gallerist, who has already served a prison term for selling works on consignment but never paying the owners of the works.Seattle’s KUOW covers the story (click on player to listen)[audio:http://www.artmarketmonitor.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/20100512_MS_arttheft.mp3|titles=KUOW Story on Kurt Lidtke]
In this case, Lidtke was working with a group, according to the Seattle Times:
Lidtke, the former owner of Kurt Lidtke Galleries in Seattle, was arrested in Bozeman, Mont. Also arrested and charged were Jerry H. Christy, aka Nick Natti, and Georgia Christy, aka Monica Natti, at their Granite Falls home. […] According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Lidtke and the Christys conspired to steal valuable artwork from homes in the Seattle area and sell it to a buyer in Oregon. The buyer was an undercover agent with the FBI. In the course of the investigation, the FBI recovered numerous paintings and a sculpture that had been stolen in a Seattle burglary in November 2009, the U.S Attorney’s Office said.
Former Seattle Art Dealer Kurt Lidtke Arrested in Theft Probe (Seattle Times)