The US Attorney’s office has gotten a plea from the last member of a ring of forgers in Louisiana who were trafficking in fake Clementine Hunter paintings:
United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced that Robert E. Lucky, Jr, 64, of New Orleans, pled guilty today to a one-count bill of information charging mail fraud in connection with selling non-authentic paintings falsely attributed to Clementine Hunter.
Lucky utilized various sources to obtain Clementine Hunter paintings, including paintings from William and Beryl Toye, which have been determined by government experts to be non-authentic. Lucky then resold the fake paintings for a profit. Lucky faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both when he is sentenced on October 21, 2011.
William Toye, 80; his wife, Beryl Ann Toye, 70, of Baton Rouge; and Robert Lucky were named in a four-count indictment charging all three defendants with mail fraud and conspiracy to commit mail fraud. William Toye pleaded guilty on June 6, 2011, to conspiring to defraud collectors of Clementine Hunter paintings by misrepresenting the authenticity and origin of the paintings. Beryl Toye pleaded guilty on August 2, 2011, to conspiracy. The Toyes each face a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both when they are sentenced on October 21, 2011.