Prosecutors said Vega was hired in March 2011 to work as a house painter at the Schulhof Estate in Kings Point, N.Y., just east of New York City. The estate features 300 works of art, featuring post-war and contemporary European and American artists.
About a year after Vega began working there, an inventory check found that three paintings were missing.
Investigators later determined one of the missing paintings — “Le Fauteuil II,” by French artist Jean Dubuffet and estimated to be worth $50,000 — was sold for $8,500 by an art gallery in Oakland, Calif., prosecutors said. They then uncovered evidence that Vega allegedly had his ex-sister-in-law set up a bank account in Brooklyn to cash the check from that sale.
Last month, detectives set up a sting at the estate and allegedly captured Vega on video stealing three other works, including the Picasso etching “Three Graces II.”