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Category Archives: Victimless Crimes

Poaching is a crime, you are its victim – Hudson Valley 360

Posted: January 20, 2020 at 5:51 am

On December 18, 2019, the Hunter Town Court adjudicated a deer poaching case initiated by Environmental Conservation Officer (ECO) Mike Arp.

A big four and one half year-old buck with impressive 153-inch antlers was illegally shot by a subject in early November during the early archery/crossbow season.

He had already killed and tagged a seven-point buck earlier that season and lacking a valid tag for the big buck, sought out his uncles tag, then illegally tagged the big bruiser with it. The defendant plead guilty to taking the buck and paid $750.00 in fines.

The shooter did not get to keep the ill-gotten trophy since he did not possess a valid privilege or tag at the time it was taken. Its been reported that the subject legally harvested a third buck during the gun season.

Some people consider deer and other poaching to be a victimless crime. That could not be further from the truth. Poaching is a crime, and you are its victim. Theres no question in my mind that hogging game has a negative impact not just on hunting, but as an affront to fairness in general within and outside the hunting community.

Poaching deer is a type of property crime. Poachers steal deer from legitimate hunters, and the general public.

Law abiding hunters and members of the non-hunting public alike, benefit from the harvest limits and other rules set by wildlife managers and enforced by ECOs. Enjoying deer can involve the legal harvest of a nice buck or doe, or simply by non-hunters who like to watch deer in their front yard.

Its been shown that the majority of the non-hunting public are agnostic about hunting. That is to say, they feel if hunters obey the rules and limits, and utilize the game taken, they support hunting. That support is drastically reduced when poaching or even hunting for trophies enters the formula.

Some hunters may feel that illegally using someone elses deer tag is one of those minor, petty offenses not only not worth reporting, but a practice that has no impact on deer populations.

Sound wildlife management practices set limits for the harvest of deer and other game to protect species for all to enjoy. It simultaneously attempts to achieve the proper population balance for that game in a given habitat.

Most hunters abide by the rules and do not cheat when it comes to over harvesting. Thats why its important that those who flagrantly break the rules by killing over their limit be brought to justice as was the case with the big buck illegally taken in the Town of Hunter.

That investigation, and for that matter, most other poaching arrests could not be made without the aid of responsible citizens who report such wildlife crimes. In many ways, ECOs, are only as effective as the public they serve allows them to be. ECOs rely on cooperation from our citizens as partners with skin in the game in combatting wildlife crime.

Lets consider the big picture. The amount of poaching cases prosecuted compared to the extent of illegal hunting taking place is minimal. Even effective, aggressive wildlife enforcement only just scratches the surface of the world of illegal hunting.

For example, on November 18, 2019, a Gilboa man was charged with shooting an 8-point buck from the road in the Town of Prattsville.

He plead guilty and paid $752.50 In the Town of Prattsville Court. There are many similar cases as ECOs across the state make scores of such arrests in the hope of having some deterrent effect. Its safe to say that many of these arrests would not have been possible without some help from concerned citizens.

So, the next time you may become aware of a serious poaching problem; consider doing your part by getting that information to your local ECO. For those who recoil and say they dont want to be a rat or snitch, realize what youre saying.

That language derived from, and thrives in the criminal culture, and not within the average, law abiding community. Awareness of serious poaching presents us with a choice of which of the two cultures we value and wish to associate with.

Every week, a few lines down in this column, youll see a reminder to report poaching by calling 1-844-DEC-ECOS. Im confident most will make the obvious choice and do the right thing if and when the time comes.

Happy Hunting, Fishing and Trapping until next time.

Canaan Conservation Clubs 21st Annual Hardwater Fishing Derby

This event will take place on February 15 from 6 a.m.-1 p.m. at Queechy Lake, Canaan, NY. Register online starting January 15 at https://canaanconservationclub.weebly.com/ or, in-person at 6 a.m. on the day of the event at Adams Point Beach. Entry fee for adults 16 and over is $15 and $5 for kids 15 and under.

Three cash prizes for largest trout, perch, pickerel, and crappie with a gas powered auger standing in for the grand prize. Other prizes include hand augers, tip-ups and jigging poles. For more information contact Julia Horst at 518-567-4302 or by email at canaanconservationclub@yahoo.com

Save the Date: February 15, 2020

The Catskill Mountain F&G Club/Stony Clove F&G Club Youth Ice Fishing Derby

The date for this event is scheduled for Saturday, February 15; ice conditions permitting.

Sign-in begins at 9 a.m. with youth fishing from 10 a.m.-noon. There will be prizes for all kids attending, plus refreshments will be available. For more information call Bob Monteleone at 518-488-0240.

Remember to report poaching violations by calling 1-844-DEC-ECOS.

*If you have a fishing or hunting report, photo, or event you would like to be considered for publication, you can send it to: huntfishreport@gmail.com

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Poaching is a crime, you are its victim - Hudson Valley 360

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Lake City man headed to prison on meth-related convictions – Cadillac News

Posted: at 5:51 am

CADILLAC A 37-year-old Lake City man was sentenced recently in both Wexford and Missaukee counties after he was found guilty of multiple methamphetamine-related offenses and charges associated with domestic violence.

In Wexford County, Robert Alan Kanouse was sentenced to between 1.5-10 years in prison with 130 days credited for a guilty plea to possession of methamphetamine and 93 days with 130 days credited for a guilty plea to operating while license suspended, revoked or denied regarding his connection with two separate incidents. One of the incidents occurred on Aug. 16 in Cedar Creek Township while the second occurred on Aug. 24 in Cadillac.

In Missaukee County, Kanouse was sentenced to 150 days in jail with 117 days credited for a conviction of attempted interfering with electronic communications, i.e. a 911 call, and 93 days in jail with 117 days credited for a domestic violence conviction. Missaukee County Prosecutor David DenHouten said Kanouse was arrested on July 11 in Missaukee County and was out on bond when he committed the acts in Wexford County.

Wexford County Prosecutor Jason Elmore said the cases against Kanouse again prove drugs are not victimless crimes. He also said methamphetamine is the No. 1 problem in both Wexford and Missaukee counties.

Kanouse endangered everyone while on the road. The connection of this (the two Wexford County cases) and the domestic violence cases is evidence that drugs hurt those around the addicts, Elmore said. Drugs endanger the user, family, friends and the community.

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Lake City man headed to prison on meth-related convictions - Cadillac News

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$9,000 raised after donations stolen from Woodland Salvation Army Service Center – The Aggie

Posted: at 5:51 am

Christmas break-in resulted in two doors being badly damaged, police still investigating

Thousands of dollars that had been raised through donations were stolen from the Salvation Army Service Center in Woodland over the holidays. The burglary occurred at 413 Main Street between late Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2019 and 12:30 on Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019, and resulted in damages to the service center of up to $1,000.

Sam Jarosz, the public relations director for the Del Oro branch of the Salvation Army said employees who were returning to work after Christmas break found two doors that were just pretty much destroyed.

Upon searching the buildings more, they found that $2,413 in kettle donations which had been raised in the two days leading up to Christmas Eve were stolen, Jarosz said.

According to Jarosz, the total losses added up to around $3,500, a blow to the holiday fundraising campaign and the efforts by the Woodland Salvation Army Service Center.

The last couple days in the red kettle campaign are usually some of our biggest days, Jarosz said. We really push to get those donations.

The red kettle campaign, in which volunteers stand outside businesses with a red bucket for donations and a signature bell, generally operates between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The donations collected provide a large amount of funding for community programs offered throughout the year by the Salvation Army.

This year, with Thanksgiving later in the month of November and fewer donations in general, the Salvation Army was already behind on its fundraising target before the break-in occurred.

The Salvation Army mentioned the effects of the burglary in a KCRA article, stating although no one was injured, this is far from a victimless crime and that these crimes push the service center further away from its fundraising target and could mean some people in need may not be able to receive services.

In response to the burglary, the Salvation Army set up another donations page to recover the losses. According to Jarosz, the fundraiser raised almost $9,000 in the weeks since it was created.

No suspects have been apprehended in the burglary, and the Woodland Police Department is currently investigating the incident.

The Woodland Salvation Army Service Center provides a food pantry, Christmas rental and utility assistance and additional services in the Yolo County area. In Northern California, the nonprofit is known for supplying emergency shelters, transitional living centers, workforce development programs and adult rehabilitation programs for those in need.

Jarosz described one of the most impactful Salvation Army programs for the Northern California and Nevada regions, Camp Del Oro.

Its a wonderful experience to just be kids and learn about the outdoors and each other, Jarosz said. Its been really helpful for children of Camp Fire survivors too.

According to the Camp Del Oro website, donations to the Salvation Army help reduce the price of overnight camp by $32, and additional scholarships help children from low-income families afford the experience.

Written by: Madeleine Payne city@theaggie.org

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$9,000 raised after donations stolen from Woodland Salvation Army Service Center - The Aggie

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Art Forgery Is Easier Than Ever, and It’s a Great Way to Launder Money – VICE

Posted: December 16, 2019 at 6:42 am

This article originally appeared on VICE US.

John Myatt felt like his life was in free-fall.

It was the mid-1980s and at 41, he was a working painter who never made a splashor a profitin the London gallery scene. His wife left him, and he struggled to provide for his two young children.

So, he began to forge paintings.

Partnering with art dealer John Drewe, the duo sold more than an estimated 200 fraudulent pieces of art for millions of pounds, ensnaring some of the world's most prestigious collectors, galleries, auction houses, and storied institutions, including London's Tate Gallery.

It was one of the greatest art scandals of all time. Myatt spent countless hours making incredibly detailed "new" works in the style of Marc Chagall, Le Corbusier, Alberto Giacometti, Matisse, and Graham Sutherland, among others. He often scoured flea markets for paints, brushes, and canvases from an artist's time period, in addition to obsessively studying their techniques.

He acknowledges his skill as a forger, but says that much of pulling off the con was "about manipulating the publicity machine or just being in the right place at the right time" in making a sale; promoting the fake story of the creation of the image and how it fit into an artist's body of work; and explaining how the piece had changed hands over the years.

Myatt, who served prison time and is now living and working as a painter in the United Kingdom, is among the handful of art forgers who say the very environment in which their past crimes flourished is, in many respects, just as fertile now. As art prices hit stratospheric highs and Trump-era momentum to regulate anything reaches record lows, the art world continues to be an under-explored haven for illicit activity, that often hangs, literally, in plain sight.

"I think it's just as easy today," Myatt said of forgery in a phone interview.

John Myatt in his studio in London | Photo by Wendy Huynh

What is often dismissed as a largely victimless crime befitting of The Thomas Crown Affair (the one starring Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo, not Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway) may carry far higher stakes. Art forgery typically elicits images of the pearl-clasping super-rich with jaws dropped at fake Picassos, but the crime is also often linked to money laundering, tax evasion, and drug trafficking. It is the third highest-grossing criminal trade in the world over the last 40 years, according to the US Department of Justice and UNESCO, just behind drugs and weapons. Thomas Hoving, the former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, once estimated that 40 percent of the artwork in circulation was fake.

Driving criminal interest is the amount of cash that has been injected in the art world in the years since Myatt's forgery heyday. In some respects, it mirrors the giant pools of money sloshing around in Manhattan or London real estatefunds that are relatively concentrated in a few hands spending it in a few places. Critics contend there's low incentive to catch criminals and that, in some cases, alleged victims may benefit from being in on the con. (Others are so desperate to be in the art market, they're taking on massive debt to do so.)

The global art market in 2018 totaled some $67.4 billion, according to a joint report from Art Basel and UBS, an increase from $39.5 billion in recession-era 2009. And as the super wealthy look for more places to park money while diversifying their holdings, wealth managers and art dealers have welcomed new dollars, with some going so far to pitch (fee-heavy) hedge fund-like investment vehicles that pool money to acquire art.

That's reaped fortunes for some, but not necessarily motivation to catch art criminals. Generally, artbe it real or fakeis being used to move money more than ever, former forgers, law enforcement agents, and experts suggest. And ironically, the forgers are among the most vocal.

"It was a mistake I made and it was time to come to do good things," Myatt said. "To just face up to it."

"Im trying to do something good out of something bad."

As Russian billionaire and avid art collector Dmitry Rybolovlev faced divorce from his wife, Elena, in 2008, the works that once proudly graced the walls of auction houses and made their way into his own collection were now a financial liability. So Rybolovlev set up an elaborate scheme to park his lofty art collection in an offshore entity, according to the Panama Papers.

Stowing away the works was no easy feat, as during his 23-year marriage, Rybolovlev, whom Forbes ranked as the 224th richest person in the world, had amassed a world-class collection that included works by Picasso, van Gogh, Monet, da Vinci, and Modigliani, among others. But as the marriage buckled, Rybolovlev moved the art to a shell company reportedly set up by the notorious and since-shuttered firm Mossack Fonseca in the British Virgin Islands. That took it out of Switzerland, part of an attempt to shield it from his wife's name or the divorce court there. (Rybolovlev is involved in further litigation with his art dealer.)

While there's no evidence Rybolovlev was dealing in forged works, it's just one of many recent scandals involving the secretive strategies of the art world, and its role in moving money at a time when oligarchs across the world have come under harsh scrutiny. This past May, longtime titan dealer Mary Boone, who was convicted for tax evasion at her gallery, reported for a 30-month prison sentencea rarity in an industry that often sees large amounts of money shifting hands. Art has a recurring role in the use of offshore shell companies, the Panama Papers showed, including allegations that the true buyers and sellers of major works may often be concealed.

The scene in John Myatt's studio | Photo by Wendy Huynh

The same goes for the ongoing saga of Jeffrey Epstein. As speculation mounted about Epstein's actual net worth in the days leading up to his death, so, too, did questions around his art assets and how they may have fit into his alleged crimes. Among his art collection were "Parsing Bill," a painting of Bill Clinton in a blue dress; a portrait of himself in a photorealistic prison scene; and a painting of a nude woman. It's unclear what their market worth is, but Epstein was "amused to have in his house fake art which looked like real art," longtime friend and art dealer Stuart Pivar told Mother Jones.

One reason fakes proliferate is simple: It's relatively easy to forge a painting. And if it's perceived as accurate, it can be hawked as an asset andin some casesget bought and sold with few or no questions asked.

Especially if the art is moving between hands that are trusted. Of the art authenticity frauds investigated by the FBI in the last three decades, an estimated 87 percent were perpetrated by art world "insiders," a sort of Ponzi scheme via canvas. Among the most notable was the downfall of the Knoedler Gallery, a storied enterprise that closed its doors after 165 years in 2011 amid allegations that it had sold fake works of Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, and others, often with little due diligence.

"It's truly shocking," said Peter R. Stern, an art attorney, of the Knoedler scandal. In his line of work, Stern represents galleries, artists and collectors in an array of matters including handling major transactions, aid with estate planning, and conflicts over art authenticity or ownership. "The behavior was awful, but I also think that buyers did little or no homework."

Photo by Wendy Huynh

Among the obvious tasks, Stern said, is tracing a work's provenance, the paper trail that shows how it has changed hands since creation. Today, the internet has made it easier than ever to find out more about a work's origins, but it has also made it easier for skilled forgers to create fake art or documents to match them.

"The internet has opened up whole new marketplaces," Tim Carpenter, FBI supervisory special agent who program manages the Bureau's Art Crime Team, said in an interview. "Day in and day out, it's not just people buying huge pieces of art. The money is at the mid-level stuff, passing off those fake pieces as real. Back before online marketplaces and social media took over, you had galleries and middlemen doing due diligence. Now, there's no middleman. You have freer access to bad art."

After decades of art crime cases being handled on an ad-hoc basis, Carpenter's group was formalized within the FBI in 2004. In addition to casework, the unit also conducts trainings to aid in handling art and cultural artifacts. Carpenter said the FBI does not publicly release data on the number of cases it pursues, but noted "we stay very busy."

High-end art can be hard to move, but criminals looking to monetize quickly may go for lower-profile deals that draw less attention. As prices increase for top-tier art, values across the board pull up, as well. "We have a lot of concerns about the explosion of value in the art market these last 10 years," Carpenter said. "Theres a lot of risk and threat there for us."

On a July afternoon in Jersey City, convicted art forger Alfredo Martinez could be found recounting his claims that he got away with faking the works of Jean-Michel Basquiat for nearly 20 years.

Sitting at his desk in a black T-shirt and matching sweatpants, his long, curly dark hair askance, Martinez, 52, looked at a large flatscreen, clicking through images of his "Basquiats." He discussed his oil stick technique and said he used tea to create an aging effect on paper. Power tools, paint brushes, and papers lay scattered about him in his high-ceiling studio at MANA Contemporary, a lofty workspace for artists.

Alfredo Martinez in his New Jersey lair | Photo by Tuhsayoh

In recent months, recovery from the amputation of five toes on his right foot after an art-related accident had kept Martinez closer to his computer screen than his easel, he said. But it had not dampened his enthusiasm for curating shows for younger artists ("I like the kids"), discussing his time in prison ("looked like Oz, but it felt like Seinfeld"), or sharing anecdotes of being a self-described "street punk" in New York's art scene during Basquiat's heyday ("I would have known him better if I was a big-chested blonde").

The FBI got a tip when Martinez tried to sell $185,000 worth of "Basquiat" art, complete with forged certificates of authenticity, to two dealers in Manhattan. If they had been real, they might be worth millions today. It landed him a 21-month stint in federal prison and a peculiar flavor of infamy in the art world upon his release in 2006. (Martinez said that he was drawn into forgery because of "money. And I was lazy.")

Martinez, for one, talks of auction houses today as "Kabuki theater" and takes a "sarcastic approach" to the art establishment, even as he continues to participate in it. Then, and now, art dealers are eager to take cash from the wealthy, many of whom may not be performing ample due diligence, he said.

"Duh," Martinez said, adding, "Youre literally printing money."

Photo by Tuhsayoh

So lax is the current state of affairs that 73 percent of wealth managers, 74 percent of art professionals and 64 percent of collectors said that the art market "needed to modernize its business practices to meet the expected standards of a transparent, trustworthy and developed marketplace," according to a 2017 Deloitte and Art Basel report. It also found that 83 percent of wealth managers "see authenticity, provenance, and attribution issues as the greatest risks in the art market" and 65 percent "felt that money laundering is a serious threat to the credibility of the art market."

This year, the House Financial Services Committee introduced money-laundering prevention legislation that proposed including "dealers in art and antiquities" among the institutions that would be monitored. In recent years, the European Union has also moved on similar regulations. Among the regulatory kerfuffles are freeports, or warehouses where art may be stashed for years. They have long existed in locales like Switzerland and enjoyed generous tax benefits, as they're technically storing art that's deemed to be in transit.

"Certain market prices are getting out of hand," said David Drake, founder and chairman of LDJ Capital, a multi-family office that includes an art advisory as part of its offerings. Drake's firm does not conduct provenance research for clients, but rather handles insurance and financing after the fact.

The upper crust of the art world appears to be trying to distance itself from the industrys criminal underbelly while also seeking to bolster buyer confidence. Many artist catalogues, including those of Basquiat and Andy Warhol, have refused to admit any new works, concerned that they could be adding their coveted stamp of approval to a work that is inauthentic (while also enjoying control of the supply and demand of the market). Auction houses have tried to fight back by bolstering their forensic efforts, notably Sotheby's with its acquisition of art forensics firm Orion in 2016. A spokesperson for Sotheby's did not respond to requests for comment.

Only a fraction of art that is sold, however, will undergo such robust due diligence. And many works that are being forged are relatively modern, rendering tasks like dating paints and canvas aging effectively moot.

Some forgers, often as part of plea deal negotiations, may turn into informants. Now retired after two decades at the Bureau, Robert Wittman, the FBI agent who investigated Martinez's case in an undercover operation, runs a private art recovery and consultancy firm based in Philadelphia. He estimated that 75 percent of the illegal art marketthat is, art that is involved in money laundering or otherwise connected to crimeis fake.

Still, people keep buying.

"Fraud has followed the art world because of the rise in value," Wittman said. "Bank robbers go there because thats where the money is. Thats the exact same situation in the art market. The growing art values since 1970, they've been through the ceiling. And with paintings selling for $200 million, criminals follow that and decide to get involved."

Ironically, some in the art world mused that Martinez's arrest brought even more attention to Basquiat's work, as his ability to forge and sell the paintings underscored the demand for the artist, who died at the age of 27 in 1988. (In 2017, "Untitled," a 1982 work by Basquiat, fetched $110.5 million, at the time making it the highest sum paid at auction for an American-produced work of art.)

That's all the more reason that Martinez is cynical about the financial froth in the art world today. He noted that in the end, it wasn't the quality of his fake artworks that landed him in prison, but a disagreement with a gallery owner he said hadn't paid him. That owner, Martinez added, tipped off law enforcement. (The FBI agent who busted Martinez has a different recollection of what led to the tip-off. According to Wittman, the buyer had spotted mistakes in the forged certificates. "Usually people who do fake certificates dont mess them up like that," Wittman said.)

Today, Wittman and Martinez are still in touch, this time as friends.

Alfredo Martinez has a complicated relationship with the works of Basquiat. Left photo courtesy of Alfredo. Right photo: Jean-Michel Basquiats Undiscovered Genius Jean-Michel Basquiat 1983

"When you work undercover, you have to create a relationship with someone, and trust. It's befriending not betraying," Wittman said. "Alfredo calls and I'm happy for him. He got down the wrong path and now it seems like he's doing well."

These days, Martinez sells his own workoriginal creations and labeled replicas of Basquaitslargely through his website and Instagram, mostly foregoing the use of agents and galleries. He said he's starting to see things differently as his own original work gains attention, including one painting of a gun that is now part of MOMA's permanent collection.

Moving carefully on his injured foot, he walked across his studio to a table where a series of drawings were laid out: figures of people, scorpions. He said they were reproductions of what he had done and had lost, either taken by prison authorities or simply because they ended up in the hands of dealers beyond.

"I guess Im forging myself," he said.

Follow Mary Pilon on Twitter.

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Whats the Future of Doctor Manhattan on Watchmen? – The Ringer

Posted: at 6:42 am

Ahead of the debut of HBOs Watchmen, it wasnt clear what a story set after the events of the iconic 1980s comic book series would look like on TV in 2019. Showrunner Damon Lindelof adamantly referred to the show as a remix rather than a direct adaptation or sequel. When Episode 1 opened with a horrific retelling of the real-life Tulsa Massacre of 1921 and closed with a shot of a black man sitting at the feet of a lynched white police chief, the elusive nature of the showone that on the surface appears to be about superheroesonly intensified.

The subsequent eight episodes were a blend of impeccable writing, acting, and directing that lived up to the tall order of sharing the name of whats considered to be one of the all-time great graphic novels. The season finale, See How They Fly, left a few loose ends (the mysterious Lube Man is still out there sliding through the streets of Tulsa) and rushed a bit to tie everything together (providing more concrete answers than Lindelof typically does), but it otherwise rounded out one of the most thrilling television series of the year.

To wrap up Watchmens first (and potentially only) season, were going to break down the two plans to steal Doctor Manhattans powersone designed by Lady Trieu and the other by the Seventh Kavalryand how they panned out before revisiting the graphic novel one last time.

The finale begins by revealing Lady Trieus parentage with a flashback to the day before 11/2 in 1985 at Adrian Veidts Karnak facility in Antarctica. While the Worlds Smartest Man relishes in the genius of his master plan while recording his address to future president Robert Redford, the original BianLady Trieus mother and the elder version of the clone weve seen for the greater part of the seasonsneaks into Adrians office. Shes a member of Adrians cleaning staff, one of the many Vietnamese refugees whom Veidt has employed. Bian enters Adrians password into his computer to open a refrigerated vault hidden away behind a massive painting of Alexander the Great that contains a catalogued collection of his sperm samples (Adrian later declares that hes never given himself to a woman, but I guess that didnt stop him from finding a twisted way to pass on his legacy). Bian takes a vial to impregnate herself, revealing in the process that Adrian is Trieus father.

Thirty-three years later, in 2008, the Worlds Smartest Woman arrives at Karnak to introduce herself to her father. Without revealing their relationship, Lady Trieu earns herself a trip inside the facility by mentioning the little-known truth behind 11/2 and feeding Veidts ego by praising his unappreciated brilliance. Trieu briefly acts impressed by Adrians squidfall technology before calling it nothing more than a rerun and sharing a world-saving plan of her own: to destroy Doctor Manhattan and absorb his abilities. If I can take his power, I can fix the world, she tells Adrian. Disappear the nukes, end starvation, clean the air. All the things he shouldve done.

Even as Adrian patronizingly jeers and questions her, Trieu backs up her bold claims by explaining her process, from how she tracked down the blue gods location on Europa by sending out space probes that scanned the galaxy for his unique radioactive frequency, to her designs for a quantum centrifuge that could harness Doctor Manhattans abilities and transfer them to her. All she asks of Adrian is a cool $42 billion; in this moment she finally reveals to Adrian that she is his daughter. Outraged by the news of Bians thievery, Trieus existence, and her nerve to ask for money, Adrian adamantly denies her request.

When my parents died, I inherited wealth beyond imagining, and I gave it away, because I wanted to demonstrate that I could achieve anything starting from nothing, Adrian says to Trieu. And that is what I offer you, Sample 2346: nothing. And I will never call you daughter.

Back on Europa, we return to our favorite interplanetary castaway, now eight years into his life in paradise. And at long last, help has finally arrived. A spacecraft lands on the castle grounds, and Adrian exits his cell through an underground tunnel hes dug. He kills the Game Warden, who was trying to prevent his master from deserting their moon one last time, before walking past all his servants to enter his shuttle back to Earth. As he steps into the spacecraft and the ship enters space, the sign Adrian carved out of his servants bodies in Episode 5 is revealed in full: SAVE ME DAUGHTER. In full Star Wars fashion, Adrian is essentially frozen in carbonite for the duration of his space flight, solidified as the gold statue thats been standing in Trieus vivarium all along.

Back in present-day Tulsa, the Millennium Clock is about to be activated. Lady Trieu has completed her lifes work, and just as she told Angela, she has found a way to bring back both of her parents to witness the momentous occasion. With Bians clone and an awakened Adrian Veidt at her side, Lady Trieu starts up the clockthe flying quantum centrifuge Trieu built without the help of her estranged fatherand heads to downtown Tulsa to set up for the final piece of her plan.

Meanwhile, the Seventh Kavalry is also preparing to steal Doctor Manhattans powers, though theyre completely unaware that theyre playing right into Lady Trieus plans. Senator Joseph Keene Jr. has gathered the senior leadership of their white supremacist organization, including his father and Jane Crawford. Agent Laurie Blake is there as well, still held captive as they all await her ex-boyfriends grand entrance, and Wade Tillmanwho had been missing ever since a group of Kavalry members failed to kill him in his homehas managed to sneak into the warehouse wearing one of the Kavalrys trademark Rorschach masks. Doctor Manhattan is teleported into a synthetic lithium cage theyve constructed using old watch batteries (a painstaking task that we witnessed a glimpse of all the way back in the series premiere), catching us up to the moment he disappeared outside of the Abars home at the end of the previous episode. The cage functions similarly to the tachyon particles that limit Doctor Manhattans abilities, confusing his sense of time; inside the cage, he starts repeating lines of dialogue he said decades earlier, in the pages of the graphic novel. With the dazed blue god imprisoned, Keene addresses his audience, outlining the Kavalrys plan.

Thirty-four years ago, Adrian Veidt unleashed his monster on the world. No, not his giant one-eyed octopus, but his puppet president, Keene says as he begins to strip off his clothing in anticipation of his transformation into the new Doctor Manhattan. First, he took our guns. And then he made us say sorry. Sorry for the color of our skin. All we wanted was to get cops in masks, take some power back, start ourselves a little culture war. Keene concedes that their original planto get him into the White Housewas a little half-baked. But then the White Night happened, and changed everything.

When the Kavalry carried out their coordinated attack on the Tulsa police force, all went as planned, except for the raid of the home of Angela and Cal Abar. Cal, accessing his subdued abilities in an act of self-preservation, zapped one of the two Kavalry hitmen to Gila Flats, the site where Jon Osterman died and was reborn as Doctor Manhattan. The Kavalry was able to piece together Cals true identity, and from that point on their mission to make Keene president was punted for the bolder goal of making him into a god.

Just before Keene enters the chamberfrom which he will supposedly reemerge from as the blue prophet who will restore (restore) white power in America, Angela warns the Kavalry that theyre about to fall right into Lady Trieus hands. They proceed anyway, initiating the transference of Doctor Manhattans power. Right on cue, the Kavalry finds themselves suddenly in downtown Tulsa, now serving as an audience to Lady Trieu.

As the two plans converge, the Kavalry proves to be no more than a cog in Lady Trieus elaborate scheme (it turns out both of the Kavalrys plans were a little half-baked). Trieu begins to address the dazed group of white supremacists before opening a chamber that releases the pool of human slush that used to be Senator Keene; hed been reduced during his failed attempt to transfer Doctor Manhattans atomic energy (crucially, Keenes blood seeps underneath the bars of blue Cals cage). Trieu resumes her speech, reading the message that Will Reeves has asked her to deliver to the group hes been hunting down since his days as Hooded Justice in the 1930s: You represent the senior leadership of Cyclops, an organization that has terrorized and victimized men, women, and children of color for a century, including this very place, the site of the Greenwood Massacre of 1921.

Before Trieu finishes reading, Jane Crawford cuts her off to tell her to just kill her and the Kavalry already, and Trieu complies. She retrieves a remote from one of her crewmembers and flicks a switch, obliterating them all with a flash of purple light.

Following the casual massacre, Doctor Manhattantouching the pool of Keenes bloodteleports Adrian, Wade, and Laurie to Karnak, leaving Angela behind as his death approaches. Enraged that Doctor Manhattan shipped off her father before she could properly gloat about her success, Trieu fires up the centrifuge to extract his energy.

In Karnak, Adrian seizes the opportunity to save the world yet again, as he reminds his new companions of his murderous heroism. (Wade, who has lived nearly his entire life traumatized by the events of 11/2, is not too happy about this.) Adrian quickly devises a plan to rain one final squidfall over Tulsa, only this time he wants to significantly lower the temperature to unleash a hailstorm of frozen cephalopods.

Trieu succeeds in destroying Doctor Manhattan, but just then, the frozen squidfall begins, cartoonishly busting a hole through Trieus hand before sending the centrifuge crashing down upon her.

As the frozen squids fall, Bian takes shelter in the Manhattan prayer booth; the Tulsa policewho had arrived just as the squidfall beganscramble for cover; and Angela runs to the Dreamland Theatre to find her children and Will Reeves. Here, in the same theater that young Will watched Trust in the Law moments before the Greenwood Massacre of 1921, Will tells his granddaughter about how he and Jon Osterman made a deal to help each other, as well as what it means to put on the mask. The hood, when I put it onyou felt what I felt? Will asks her, referring to the Nostalgia pills she took that allowed her to experience the moment he became Hooded Justice.

Anger, Angela replies.

Yeah, thats what I thought too, Will says. But it wasntit was fear, hurt. You cant heal under a mask, Angela. Wounds need air. Will tells Angela that it was Jons idea to make a deal with Trieu all along, and that Jon knew he was going to die but said, You cant make an omelette without breaking a couple eggs, a phrase that would supposedly make sense to Angela when the time was right.

Will and Angela wake up the kids and return to Angelas house, passing by all the destruction left in the wake of Trieus failed plans. Just before the credits begin to roll, Angela cleans up the broken eggs scattered across her kitchen floor from her fight with the waffle-making Doctor Manhattan. She finds one egg remaining in the carton, still intact, and remembers the time that Jon told her that he could theoretically pass his abilities to another person through the consumption of organic material thats been exposed to him. Angela walks out to the pool, swallows the raw egg, rolls up her pants, and sets her foot over the water to test out the theory just as the season comes to an end.

Despite an incredible final performance by actress Hong Chau, Lady Trieu went out with little more than a whimper, capable of mustering no more of a reaction to her fathers attack than the utterance of motherfucker in Vietnamese with her final breaths. Wills mesmerism device that he stole from the Cyclops group decades earlier was never used again after seeing its power in manipulating Crawford into hanging himself, and the Kavalrys fate was decided in one quick purple flash. For all the meticulous effort the show put into weaving an intricate web of mystery, the vast and insidious conspiracy ultimately proved to be more hollow as the show rushed toward the finish line. The conclusions saving grace, however, was found in the chaoss calm aftermath in the Dreamland Theatre.

As Victor Luckerson recently wrote in The New Yorker: What Watchmen nails, more than details of Greenwoods history, is the way that history itself is so susceptible to manipulation, distortion, and erasure. A brutal invasion became a victimless crime, then a repressed memory, then a hazy urban legend that few people had even heard about. While bending elements of real historical events like the Greenwood Massacre and the Vietnam War, as well as Alan Moore and Dave Gibbonss original story, HBOs Watchmen remix turned out to be a story about a black family reshaping history. Will Reeves revealed that the first superhero was black, as he fought to eliminate white supremacy in the 1930s as Hooded Justice, and his granddaughter unknowingly carried the mission forward decades later as Sister Night. The two share similar traumatic experiences a century apart, while literally sharing some together through the aid of the psychoactive drug, Nostalgia.

As Will and Angela sit together in the Dreamland Theatre, just as Will did with his mother on the day of the Greenwood Massacre, we see how similar their paths have been, how they both masked their pain caused by racism and senseless violence at the hands of terrorists. And together, after delivering justice to white supremacist descendents of the massacre, the two are finally on the path to healing.

Throughout this entire season of Watchmen, each episode was laden with Easter eggs and callbacks to the original source material. You could compile an exhaustive list for each episode, but for the finale, Ill just point out the three that I appreciated the most.

Adrians Bullet Catch

When watching the Game Warden confront Adrian before his master left for Europa, you mightve thought, Did this guy really just catch a damn bullet with his bare hands?! And yesyes, he did but it also wasnt his first time. Heres Laurie trying kill Adrian on 11/2, only to find out that hes got quicker hands than Michael Thomas:

The Original Archie Ship

After Adrian saves the world from his daughters attempt to become an all-powerful god, he leads Laurie and Wade to the vessel that would bring them back to civilization. The ship is called Archie, as Laurie recalls fondly, and its the original ship that her ex-boyfriend Dan Dreiberg designed and used back in his days masquerading as the second Nite Owl. In the comics, Dan and Rorschach flew to Karnak in Archie on 11/2 to try to stop Adrians attack of New York. The ship has been collecting dust ever since, and now Laurie and Wade will use it to bring Adrian in to finally answer for his crimes.

Rorschachs Omelette Line

Doctor Manhattans hugely important omelette idiom was actually used in the graphic novel as well, only then it was said by Rorschach. After Rorschach interrogates the retired supervillain, Moloch, he swallows a raw egg and says the line on his way out the door:

Though the ending aligned with Lindelofs sensibilities, the ambiguous closing moments also mirrored the final page of Moore and Gibbonss graphic novel. The original Watchmen story ends at the office of the New Frontiersman, just as an editorial assistant, Seymour, discovers Rorschachs journal that contains the truth about 11/2. Rorschach had sent it to the newspapers office just before leaving for Karnak, where hed eventually be killed by Doctor Manhattan. And as the story comes to a close, the reader is left wondering what will happen if the journal is published, and whether or not the truth will undo the supposed utopia that 3 million New Yorkers died for.

HBOs Watchmen supplied answers to these very questions. Rorschachs journal was published, but the greater public didnt believe the words of a violent sociopath, especially while there were squids still periodically raining down from the sky. Only a select few actually knew that the journal was full of the truth, and others unconcerned with the truthlike the Seventh Kavalryused it to fuel their mistrust in the government.

As Angela reaches her foot over the pool in the final frames of the season, viewers are left with the same uncertainty that the journal elicited. Was Doctor Manhattan right about his theory? Has Angela attained all of his powers? If so, what will she do as the new Doctor Manhattan?

The fact that Doctor Manhattan told Angela that it was important for her to see him walk back and forth on the pool in the previous episode suggest he was right, but for now, theres no telling what happened the moment her foot hit the water. If Watchmen moves forward with a second season, we may find that not only does the American Superman exist again, but that she is black and living in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Disclosure: HBO is an initial investor in The Ringer.

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Victimless Crime | Encyclopedia.com

Posted: December 13, 2019 at 3:20 pm

In the continuing debate over the proper scope of the criminal law, it has frequently been suggested that certain crimes are in reality "victimless" and that all statutes defining such offenses should be repealed or at least substantially restricted (Schur; Packer; Morris and Hawkins). Although all authors do not use the term in the same way, the following offenses have been included in the victimless crime category: public drunkenness; vagrancy; various sexual acts usually involving consenting adults (fornication, adultery, bigamy, incest, sodomy, homosexuality, and prostitution); obscenity; pornography; drug offenses; abortion; gambling; and juvenile status offenses (offenses that would not be criminal if the actor were an adult).

The arguments for the repeal of laws against victimless crimes fall into two categories. Some proponents of the victimless crime concept argue that, as a matter of principle, society may not legitimately prohibit conduct that harms only the actor or actors (Morris and Hawkins). However, most proponents of the criterion go on to argue that even if it might be legitimate to punish victimless crimes, there are certain practical reasons why it is unwise to do so (Schur and Bedau). The practical arguments against victimless crimes appear to derive from three attributes of these offenses: (1) most involve no complaining parties other than police officers; (2) many involve the exchange of prohibited goods or services that are strongly desired by the participants; and (3) all seek to prevent individual or social harms that are widely believed to be less serious and/or less likely to occur than the harms involved in crimes with victims.

Victimless crimes tend to have no complaining parties other than the police because the immediate participants in these crimes do not see themselves as victims, have no desire to complain to the police, and would fear criminal liability if they did complain. Moreover, since such illegal acts usually take place in private and do not directly victimize any third party, other citizens are unlikely to observe the acts or to have sufficient incentive to complain to the police. As a result, it is argued, victimless crimes are harder to detect and prosecute than crimes with victims, and the police are therefore forced to engage in a number of practices that are subject to serious abuse. These include surveillance and entrapment by undercover agents; the use of unreliable informants from the criminal milieu; various forms of intrusive electronic and physical surveillance (wiretapping, bugging, peering through holes in the ceilings of public washrooms, and the like); and widespread searches of the person, motor vehicles, houses, and other nonpublic places for contraband and evidence. Such techniques tend to bring law enforcement into disrepute, causing lowered public respect for the law and for criminal penalties in general.

The fact that victimless crimes frequently take place without being observed by other citizens also means that certain forms of official misconduct are much more likely to occur: discriminatory enforcement of the law against unpopular groups or individuals; attempts to bribe law enforcement officers; and attempts by law enforcement officers to extort money or other favors from suspects in return for nonenforcement. Such misbehavior further reduces public respect for, and cooperation with, the institutionsof criminal justice, particularly among social groups already alienated from societythe poor, ethnic minorities, and the young (Schur and Bedau).

Many victimless crimes involve goods and services that are in great demand, the most extreme example being the drugs craved by addicts. Criminal penalties thus tend to limit the supply more than the demand, driving up the black-market price and creating monopoly profits for those criminals who remain in business. This "crime tariff" reduces consumption possibilities for legal goods and encourages the growth of sophisticated and well-organized criminal groups. Organized crime in turn tends to diversify into other areas of crime. Large profits provide ample funds for bribery of public officials, as well as capital for diversification. Although higher prices tend to discourage some would-be participants in victimless crimes, the fact that these goods and services are greatly desired (and are not seen as truly immoral) ensures a strong demand that, combined with a restricted supply, maintains both high prices and high crime rates. In extreme cases, such as heroin or cocaine addiction, high prices force participants to commit other crimes, for example, drug sales and theft, to pay for the illegal goods. Finally, because of the strong demand, a large number of otherwise law-abiding citizens are driven into association with the criminal elements who supply these goods and services. There is a danger that such citizens will come to view themselves as criminals, since society has labeled them as such; they will thus cooperate less with law enforcement generally, and are more likely to be drawn into other forms of crime.

Victimless crimes are also seen as being measurably less serious than most offenses with victimsthe prohibited behavior causes individual or social harms that are either less serious, less likely to occur, or the result of prohibition itself (for example, the adverse health effects caused by ingestion of impure or unexpectedly potent drugs). It is argued that the lack of complaining witnesses to some of these crimes (e.g., illegal gambling) is, in part, a reflection of a societal consensus that the behavior is less serious. The high demand for many of these illegal goods and services, noted above, is further evidence of widespread tolerance of the behavior. Under such conditions, prohibition only serves to reduce respect for law on the part of citizens who believe that their prohibited acts are not wrong. Moreover, the prosecution of these less serious offenses is seen as a waste of scarce criminal justice resources and an unjustifiable burden on the criminal justice system. The amount of police effort required to detect these hard-to-enforce laws might be better spent on more serious offenses, which are easier to detect. It is also argued that the courts are so overburdened with trivial offenses that there are insufficient resources to process more serious offenses adequately. In addition, the enforcement of victimless crime puts great stress on overcrowded pretrial detention and correctional facilities, and increases the cost of replacement facilities.

Although often agreeing that specific crimes should be repealed, critics of the victimless crime criterion have pointed out that the concept lacks a clear definition, fails to cover some of the offenses to which it has been applied, and applies equally well to other offenses that have not been proposed for repeal. Thus, critics argue, the term is only a cover for subjective value judgments about the wisdom of specific criminal statutes, and fails to provide an objective criminalization standard that could be easily applied and would be deserving of broad acceptance.

Beginning with the term itself, it has been argued that there is no such thing as a victimless crime, because most so-called victimless crimes have victims, or at least potential victims, such as the taxpayers who must eventually pay the cost of rehabilitating the drug addict and supporting his dependents (Oaks). It has also been argued that prostitution and antifemale pornography harm all women, and that "hate speech" harms all members of the target group, by increasing the risk of future violence, causing fear and anxiety of such harms, and reinforcing entrenched social inequalities (Roach). If it is conceded that the criminal law may properly prohibit conduct that involves a risk of harm to the protected interests of others, one is faced with a continuuma range of behaviors involving varying degrees of actual or potential victimizationwith no clear answers about where to draw the line between criminal and noncriminal behavior (Dripps; Packer).

In response to the problems noted above, it might be argued that victimless crimes should be defined as those that lack direct, identifiable victims. However, there are several problems with this formulation. First, some of the offenses onthe list of victimless crimes do have direct victims, such as citizens offended or harassed by public drunks or disorderly persons; the spouse of the adulterer, bigamist, or prostitution client; or the spouse, parent, or child of a drug addict. Refusal to recognize the latter forms of victimization requires problematic distinction (for instance, between mere mental distress and physical harm) (Wertheimer). Moreover, in many cases it is quite reasonable to argue that one or more of the participants in a victimless crime is, or will in the future become, a victim of serious harm, such as the sporadic heroin user who becomes addicted (Schur and Bedau), or the young person who becomes a prostitute; moreover, the victims of these harms, who are often members of socially disadvantaged groups, may not freely "consent" to either the prohibited acts or the ensuing harms. Finally, a "no direct victim" definition might include many offenses not proposed to be repealedfor example, inchoate offenses such as possession of burglary tools, drunk driving, and counterfeiting.

It has also been argued that victimless crimes "lack victims in the sense of complainants asking for the protection of the criminal law" (Morris and Hawkins, p. 6). Of course, people can be victimized, or at least put at risk of harm, without knowing it, and much of the absence of complainants is due to the secretive nature of these crimes (Wertheimer). Moreover, the "complaintless" criterion excludes some supposedly victimless crimes, such as pornography, and includes many offenses never proposed for repeal. For example, in bribery, receiving stolen property, possession of unregistered weapons, most traffic law violations, and innumerable health, safety, environmental, and regulatory offenses, the complainant is generally a police officer or paid informant, not a crime victim seeking protection. To argue that the latter offenses are significantly different from the victimless (or complaintless) crimes which should be repealed is to admit that the proposed criterion does not, by itself, make the crucial distinction between what should be criminal and what should not.

Victimless crimes have also been defined as those involving "the willing exchange, among adults, of strongly demanded but legally proscribed goods and services" (Schur, p. 169). The consensual nature of such transactions, and the fact that they are strongly desired, create many of the problems of detection and enforcement previously noted (Schur and Bedau). This definition is still inadequate, however, because it clearly does not apply to some victimless crimes, such as public drunkenness, and applies in only the broadest sense to others, such as incest. On the other hand, it does include weapons and stolen property offenses, which are not usually proposed for repeal.

Finally, proponents of the victimless crime criterion argue that even if this concept is not a definitive test of what should be criminal, it is still useful because it identifies a group of statutes most of which should be repealed because "they produce more social harm than good" (Schur and Bedau, p. 112). This sort of cost-benefit approach does provide a useful set of objective criteria for defining the scope of the criminal law. However, such an approach is inevitably very complex, and the victimless crime criterion contributes little to the resolution of these complexities. For example, offenses involving the possession or carrying of weapons are victimless in almost every sense in which drug offenses are, and impose very similar costs of enforcement (Wertheimer; Kessler), yet most proponents of the victimless crime criterion do not apply the criterion to current and proposed gun laws. In addition, the victimless crime concept says very little about the difficult choices between alternatives to current criminal laws: partial decriminalization, regulation by various civil or administrative processes, or total deregulation.

Ultimately, the victimless crime criterionor any other simple formulais mostly rhetoric that obscures, rather than contributes to, analysis. The relative victimlessness of an offense is closely related to several important practical issues in the criminalization decision, but labeling a crime as victimless only begins what is, in most cases, a very difficult process of assessing complex empirical facts and fundamental value choices.

Richard S. Frase

See also Abortion; Alcohol and Crime: The Prohibition Experiment; Civil and Criminal Divide; Criminal Law Reform: Current Issues in the United States; Criminalization and Decriminalization; Drugs and Crime: Legal Aspects; Entrapment; Gambling; Homosexuality and Crime; Juvenile Status Offenders; Obscenity and Pornography: Behavioral Aspects; Police: Policing Complainantless Crimes; Prostitution; Sex Offenses: Consensual; Vagrancy and Disorderly Conduct.

Dripps, Donald A. "The Liberal Critique of the Harm Principle." Criminal Justice Ethics 17 (summer/fall 1998): 318.

Feinberg, Joel. The Moral Limits of the Criminal Law. 4 vols. Vol. 1, Harm to Others (1984); Vol. 2, Offense to Others (1985); Vol. 3, Harm to Self (1986); Vol. 4, Harmless Wrongdoing (1988). New York: Oxford University Press, 19841988.

Kessler, Raymond G. "Enforcement Problems of Gun Control: A Victimless Crimes Analysis." Criminal Law Bulletin 16 (1980): 131149.

Morris, Norval, and Hawkins, Gordon J. The Honest Politician's Guide to Crime Control. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970.

Oaks, Dallin H. "The Popular Myth of the Victimless Crime." University of Chicago Law Alumni Journal (1975): 314.

Packer, Herbert L. The Limits of the Criminal Sanction. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1968.

Roach, Kent. "Four Models of the Criminal Process." Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 89 (1999): 671716.

Schur, Edwin M. Crimes without Victims: Deviant Behavior and Public PolicyAbortion, Homosexuality, Drug Addiction. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1965.

Schur, Edwin M., and Bedau, Hugo Adam. Victimless Crimes: Two Sides of a Controversy. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1974.

Smith, Wendy Serbin. Victimless Crime: A Selected Bibliography. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, 1977.

Wertheimer, Alan. "Victimless Crimes." Ethics 87 (1977): 302318.

Encyclopedia of Crime and JusticeFRASE, RICHARD S.

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Forgery to thievery, a brief history of art crime at the UA Museum – Arizona Daily Wildcat

Posted: at 3:20 pm

Art crime is woven throughout museums, galleries and private collections alike. From forgeries to the theft of its most valuable painting, the University of Arizona Museum of Art has an art crime history all of its own.

The art museums Curator of Exhibitions Olivia Miller gave a community talk called Crimes Against Art about incidents of the museum at the Murphy-Wilmot Library on Dec. 6.

The Forgeries

According to Miller, the museums curator discovered in the late 1970s that Wassily Kandinskys painting Ruhe was a forgery. The director happened upon a poster reproduction of Ruhe, which did not look like the original and began to inspect museum files to research its provenance.

It turned out that parts of paintings provenance was fictional. The original was still part of a private collection belonging to Nathan Cummings, making the one hanging in the museum a forgery.

After the Kandinsky painting was found to be a forgery, the curator began tracking all the other pieces sold by the same gallery from which it had been bought. Miller said a sculpture called Dancer Posing by Edgar Degas was also discovered to be a fake after being inspected by experts at Harvard.

The conservators called the sculpture a poor copy of a copy, Miller said. It was not even a good forgery.

After the Kandinsky painting was found to be a forgery, the curator began tracking all the other pieces sold by the same gallery from which it had been bought. Miller said that a sculpture called "Dancer Posing" by Edgar Degas was also discovered to be a fake after being inspected by experts at Harvard.

The conservators called the sculpture a poor copy of a copy, Miller said. It was not even a good forgery.

The two falsified artworks were gifts from Edward Gallagher Jr.

According to the art museums website, Gallagher Jr. donated about 200 world-class modern art pieces to the museum in honor of his son who passed away.

Miller said the Kandinsky and Degas artworks were sold to Gallagher Jr. by a gallery that had supplied him many pieces, the majority of which later turned out to be forgeries.

She mentioned that a preparatory sculpture by Henry Moore is currently not on display, as it is from the same untrustworthy gallery and the authenticity is still unknown.

[These forgery discoveries] were quite unfortunate because the gallery owner and Gallagher had been friends since high school, Miller said.

It was found out that the gallery owner established an elaborate scheme. Apparently, he had forged letters from a non-existent corporation owner and created a shell company, all to deceive Gallagher Jr. and knowingly sell him forged artwork, according to Miller.

I guarantee that there are museums right now that have forgeries on view and just dont know it yet, Miller said. In 2016, half of a museum in France happened to be fake.

Karen Barber is an adult services librarian who has taken part in the organization of the art talks since 2012. Apparently, the first talk they ever hosted was about the Gallagher collection. Now, seven years later, the talk is about how Gallagher was duped.

I had no idea that the [UA] had all those forgeries, Barber said after the talk. I think its fascinating that [the museum is] being so open about the forgeries.

The Stolen Painting

The museums talk was brought up during Millers re-telling of the story about Willem de Koonings Woman-Ochre painting that was stolen over 30 years ago.

According to UA Police Chief Brian Seastone, on the morning of Nov. 29, 1985, a man and a woman entered the museum. Police believe that the woman distracted the security guard while the man went up to the second floor.

The security guard was suspicious after they left and immediately went upstairs to check on the artworks, Miller said. He discovered that the painting had been cut from its frame shortly after they left.

It wasnt until 2009 when Lauren Rabb became the curator of art at the UA art museum that Woman-Ochre came back into the spotlight. According to Rabb, she was always interested in art theft.

Art crime fascinates me because while its usually considered a victimless crime, at the same time its a crime against humanity, Rabb said in an email. Humanity is deprived of that work of art of the ability to experience it anymore.

According to Rabb, awareness about the stolen de Kooning painting needed to spread if it were ever to be returned to the art museum. Rabb contacted the FBI to remind them about the robbery and to inquire about the status of their investigations.

It seemed like a good time to reopen the case and make sure there was publicity around the 30-year anniversary of the theft, Rabb said.

Miller said the museum hosted an event titled Out of the Vault Art Crime, prompted by Rabb in 2015. It was about past forgeries, Woman-Ochre and the FBIs progress on the stolen painting case.

This talk renewed interest toward the unsolved disappearance within the community. According to Miller, the event received international press attention and an article was written about the stolen painting a few weeks later by Anne Ryman for the Arizona Republic.

On Aug. 3, 2017, we got a call that changed our lives, Miller said.

David Van Auker, an owner of an antique store in New Mexico, called the art museum to say that he believed he found the stolen de Kooning after he researched the painting he bought and came across Rymans article.

At first, I was cautious about getting excited, Miller said. It wasnt that I didnt believe him, but we wanted more proof, especially after discovering so many other forgeries in the museum.

Finally, it was found that Van Auker was indeed in possession of the long-lost painting. According to Miller, if it werent for the transparency and educational reach of the Out of the Vault Art Crime event, Rymans article wouldnt have been written.

Museums are public institutions, Miller said. The public should be aware of what goes on inside them. Keeping the public informed is what helped us recover Woman-Ochre.

Today, Woman-Ochre is being tested and repaired at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. Miller expects that the art museum will get to welcome the painting back home in Spring of 2021.

Over 30 years after the crime, UA Museum of Art employees and community members alike celebrate the paintings recovery.

Art crime is a real and current issue, Miller said. Just recently, a couple paintings were burglarized in Germany. For [the art museum], its about finding a balance between visitor experience and painting safety.

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Art Forgery Is Easier Than Ever, and It’s a Great Way to Launder Money – Broadly

Posted: at 3:20 pm

John Myatt felt like his life was in free-fall.

It was the mid-1980s and at 41, he was a working painter who never made a splashor a profitin the London gallery scene. His wife left him, and he struggled to provide for his two young children.

So, he began to forge paintings.

Partnering with art dealer John Drewe, the duo sold more than an estimated 200 fraudulent pieces of art for millions of pounds, ensnaring some of the world's most prestigious collectors, galleries, auction houses, and storied institutions, including London's Tate Gallery.

It was one of the greatest art scandals of all time. Myatt spent countless hours making incredibly detailed "new" works in the style of Marc Chagall, Le Corbusier, Alberto Giacometti, Matisse, and Graham Sutherland, among others. He often scoured flea markets for paints, brushes, and canvases from an artist's time period, in addition to obsessively studying their techniques.

He acknowledges his skill as a forger, but says that much of pulling off the con was "about manipulating the publicity machine or just being in the right place at the right time" in making a sale; promoting the fake story of the creation of the image and how it fit into an artist's body of work; and explaining how the piece had changed hands over the years.

Myatt, who served prison time and is now living and working as a painter in the United Kingdom, is among the handful of art forgers who say the very environment in which their past crimes flourished is, in many respects, just as fertile now. As art prices hit stratospheric highs and Trump-era momentum to regulate anything reaches record lows, the art world continues to be an under-explored haven for illicit activity, that often hangs, literally, in plain sight.

"I think it's just as easy today," Myatt said of forgery in a phone interview.

John Myatt in his studio in London | Photo by Wendy Huynh

What is often dismissed as a largely victimless crime befitting of The Thomas Crown Affair (the one starring Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo, not Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway) may carry far higher stakes. Art forgery typically elicits images of the pearl-clasping super-rich with jaws dropped at fake Picassos, but the crime is also often linked to money laundering, tax evasion, and drug trafficking. It is the third highest-grossing criminal trade in the world over the last 40 years, according to the US Department of Justice and UNESCO, just behind drugs and weapons. Thomas Hoving, the former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, once estimated that 40 percent of the artwork in circulation was fake.

Driving criminal interest is the amount of cash that has been injected in the art world in the years since Myatt's forgery heyday. In some respects, it mirrors the giant pools of money sloshing around in Manhattan or London real estatefunds that are relatively concentrated in a few hands spending it in a few places. Critics contend there's low incentive to catch criminals and that, in some cases, alleged victims may benefit from being in on the con. (Others are so desperate to be in the art market, they're taking on massive debt to do so.)

The global art market in 2018 totaled some $67.4 billion, according to a joint report from Art Basel and UBS, an increase from $39.5 billion in recession-era 2009. And as the super wealthy look for more places to park money while diversifying their holdings, wealth managers and art dealers have welcomed new dollars, with some going so far to pitch (fee-heavy) hedge fund-like investment vehicles that pool money to acquire art.

That's reaped fortunes for some, but not necessarily motivation to catch art criminals. Generally, artbe it real or fakeis being used to move money more than ever, former forgers, law enforcement agents, and experts suggest. And ironically, the forgers are among the most vocal.

"It was a mistake I made and it was time to come to do good things," Myatt said. "To just face up to it."

"Im trying to do something good out of something bad."

As Russian billionaire and avid art collector Dmitry Rybolovlev faced divorce from his wife, Elena, in 2008, the works that once proudly graced the walls of auction houses and made their way into his own collection were now a financial liability. So Rybolovlev set up an elaborate scheme to park his lofty art collection in an offshore entity, according to the Panama Papers.

Stowing away the works was no easy feat, as during his 23-year marriage, Rybolovlev, whom Forbes ranked as the 224th richest person in the world, had amassed a world-class collection that included works by Picasso, van Gogh, Monet, da Vinci, and Modigliani, among others. But as the marriage buckled, Rybolovlev moved the art to a shell company reportedly set up by the notorious and since-shuttered firm Mossack Fonseca in the British Virgin Islands. That took it out of Switzerland, part of an attempt to shield it from his wife's name or the divorce court there. (Rybolovlev is involved in further litigation with his art dealer.)

While there's no evidence Rybolovlev was dealing in forged works, it's just one of many recent scandals involving the secretive strategies of the art world, and its role in moving money at a time when oligarchs across the world have come under harsh scrutiny. This past May, longtime titan dealer Mary Boone, who was convicted for tax evasion at her gallery, reported for a 30-month prison sentencea rarity in an industry that often sees large amounts of money shifting hands. Art has a recurring role in the use of offshore shell companies, the Panama Papers showed, including allegations that the true buyers and sellers of major works may often be concealed.

The scene in John Myatt's studio | Photo by Wendy Huynh

The same goes for the ongoing saga of Jeffrey Epstein. As speculation mounted about Epstein's actual net worth in the days leading up to his death, so, too, did questions around his art assets and how they may have fit into his alleged crimes. Among his art collection were "Parsing Bill," a painting of Bill Clinton in a blue dress; a portrait of himself in a photorealistic prison scene; and a painting of a nude woman. It's unclear what their market worth is, but Epstein was "amused to have in his house fake art which looked like real art," longtime friend and art dealer Stuart Pivar told Mother Jones.

One reason fakes proliferate is simple: It's relatively easy to forge a painting. And if it's perceived as accurate, it can be hawked as an asset andin some casesget bought and sold with few or no questions asked.

Especially if the art is moving between hands that are trusted. Of the art authenticity frauds investigated by the FBI in the last three decades, an estimated 87 percent were perpetrated by art world "insiders," a sort of Ponzi scheme via canvas. Among the most notable was the downfall of the Knoedler Gallery, a storied enterprise that closed its doors after 165 years in 2011 amid allegations that it had sold fake works of Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, and others, often with little due diligence.

"It's truly shocking," said Peter R. Stern, an art attorney, of the Knoedler scandal. In his line of work, Stern represents galleries, artists and collectors in an array of matters including handling major transactions, aid with estate planning, and conflicts over art authenticity or ownership. "The behavior was awful, but I also think that buyers did little or no homework."

Photo by Wendy Huynh

Among the obvious tasks, Stern said, is tracing a work's provenance, the paper trail that shows how it has changed hands since creation. Today, the internet has made it easier than ever to find out more about a work's origins, but it has also made it easier for skilled forgers to create fake art or documents to match them.

"The internet has opened up whole new marketplaces," Tim Carpenter, FBI supervisory special agent who program manages the Bureau's Art Crime Team, said in an interview. "Day in and day out, it's not just people buying huge pieces of art. The money is at the mid-level stuff, passing off those fake pieces as real. Back before online marketplaces and social media took over, you had galleries and middlemen doing due diligence. Now, there's no middleman. You have freer access to bad art."

After decades of art crime cases being handled on an ad-hoc basis, Carpenter's group was formalized within the FBI in 2004. In addition to casework, the unit also conducts trainings to aid in handling art and cultural artifacts. Carpenter said the FBI does not publicly release data on the number of cases it pursues, but noted "we stay very busy."

High-end art can be hard to move, but criminals looking to monetize quickly may go for lower-profile deals that draw less attention. As prices increase for top-tier art, values across the board pull up, as well. "We have a lot of concerns about the explosion of value in the art market these last 10 years," Carpenter said. "Theres a lot of risk and threat there for us."

On a July afternoon in Jersey City, convicted art forger Alfredo Martinez could be found recounting his claims that he got away with faking the works of Jean-Michel Basquiat for nearly 20 years.

Sitting at his desk in a black T-shirt and matching sweatpants, his long, curly dark hair askance, Martinez, 52, looked at a large flatscreen, clicking through images of his "Basquiats." He discussed his oil stick technique and said he used tea to create an aging effect on paper. Power tools, paint brushes, and papers lay scattered about him in his high-ceiling studio at MANA Contemporary, a lofty workspace for artists.

Alfredo Martinez in his New Jersey lair | Photo by Tuhsayoh

In recent months, recovery from the amputation of five toes on his right foot after an art-related accident had kept Martinez closer to his computer screen than his easel, he said. But it had not dampened his enthusiasm for curating shows for younger artists ("I like the kids"), discussing his time in prison ("looked like Oz, but it felt like Seinfeld"), or sharing anecdotes of being a self-described "street punk" in New York's art scene during Basquiat's heyday ("I would have known him better if I was a big-chested blonde").

The FBI got a tip when Martinez tried to sell $185,000 worth of "Basquiat" art, complete with forged certificates of authenticity, to two dealers in Manhattan. If they had been real, they might be worth millions today. It landed him a 21-month stint in federal prison and a peculiar flavor of infamy in the art world upon his release in 2006. (Martinez said that he was drawn into forgery because of "money. And I was lazy.")

Martinez, for one, talks of auction houses today as "Kabuki theater" and takes a "sarcastic approach" to the art establishment, even as he continues to participate in it. Then, and now, art dealers are eager to take cash from the wealthy, many of whom may not be performing ample due diligence, he said.

"Duh," Martinez said, adding, "Youre literally printing money."

Photo by Tuhsayoh

So lax is the current state of affairs that 73 percent of wealth managers, 74 percent of art professionals and 64 percent of collectors said that the art market "needed to modernize its business practices to meet the expected standards of a transparent, trustworthy and developed marketplace," according to a 2017 Deloitte and Art Basel report. It also found that 83 percent of wealth managers "see authenticity, provenance, and attribution issues as the greatest risks in the art market" and 65 percent "felt that money laundering is a serious threat to the credibility of the art market."

This year, the House Financial Services Committee introduced money-laundering prevention legislation that proposed including "dealers in art and antiquities" among the institutions that would be monitored. In recent years, the European Union has also moved on similar regulations. Among the regulatory kerfuffles are freeports, or warehouses where art may be stashed for years. They have long existed in locales like Switzerland and enjoyed generous tax benefits, as they're technically storing art that's deemed to be in transit.

"Certain market prices are getting out of hand," said David Drake, founder and chairman of LDJ Capital, a multi-family office that includes an art advisory as part of its offerings. Drake's firm does not conduct provenance research for clients, but rather handles insurance and financing after the fact.

The upper crust of the art world appears to be trying to distance itself from the industrys criminal underbelly while also seeking to bolster buyer confidence. Many artist catalogues, including those of Basquiat and Andy Warhol, have refused to admit any new works, concerned that they could be adding their coveted stamp of approval to a work that is inauthentic (while also enjoying control of the supply and demand of the market). Auction houses have tried to fight back by bolstering their forensic efforts, notably Sotheby's with its acquisition of art forensics firm Orion in 2016. A spokesperson for Sotheby's did not respond to requests for comment.

Only a fraction of art that is sold, however, will undergo such robust due diligence. And many works that are being forged are relatively modern, rendering tasks like dating paints and canvas aging effectively moot.

Some forgers, often as part of plea deal negotiations, may turn into informants. Now retired after two decades at the Bureau, Robert Wittman, the FBI agent who investigated Martinez's case in an undercover operation, runs a private art recovery and consultancy firm based in Philadelphia. He estimated that 75 percent of the illegal art marketthat is, art that is involved in money laundering or otherwise connected to crimeis fake.

Still, people keep buying.

"Fraud has followed the art world because of the rise in value," Wittman said. "Bank robbers go there because thats where the money is. Thats the exact same situation in the art market. The growing art values since 1970, they've been through the ceiling. And with paintings selling for $200 million, criminals follow that and decide to get involved."

Ironically, some in the art world mused that Martinez's arrest brought even more attention to Basquiat's work, as his ability to forge and sell the paintings underscored the demand for the artist, who died at the age of 27 in 1988. (In 2017, "Untitled," a 1982 work by Basquiat, fetched $110.5 million, at the time making it the highest sum paid at auction for an American-produced work of art.)

That's all the more reason that Martinez is cynical about the financial froth in the art world today. He noted that in the end, it wasn't the quality of his fake artworks that landed him in prison, but a disagreement with a gallery owner he said hadn't paid him. That owner, Martinez added, tipped off law enforcement. (The FBI agent who busted Martinez has a different recollection of what led to the tip-off. According to Wittman, the buyer had spotted mistakes in the forged certificates. "Usually people who do fake certificates dont mess them up like that," Wittman said.)

Today, Wittman and Martinez are still in touch, this time as friends.

Alfredo Martinez has a complicated relationship with the works of Basquiat. Left photo courtesy of Alfredo. Right photo: Jean-Michel Basquiats Undiscovered Genius Jean-Michel Basquiat 1983

"When you work undercover, you have to create a relationship with someone, and trust. It's befriending not betraying," Wittman said. "Alfredo calls and I'm happy for him. He got down the wrong path and now it seems like he's doing well."

These days, Martinez sells his own workoriginal creations and labeled replicas of Basquaitslargely through his website and Instagram, mostly foregoing the use of agents and galleries. He said he's starting to see things differently as his own original work gains attention, including one painting of a gun that is now part of MOMA's permanent collection.

Moving carefully on his injured foot, he walked across his studio to a table where a series of drawings were laid out: figures of people, scorpions. He said they were reproductions of what he had done and had lost, either taken by prison authorities or simply because they ended up in the hands of dealers beyond.

"I guess Im forging myself," he said.

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Lengthy Expos Shows How Crime on BART Has Gone Off the Rails – SFist

Posted: November 20, 2019 at 5:52 am

NBC Bay Area reveals that BART is one of the most dangerous transportation systems in the country, and details how rampant various crimes have become, and which stations are the worst for violent crime.

We already knew that violent crime on BART has doubled over the last four years, with aggravated assault, homicide, rape, and robbery incidents up 115 percent over that period. And while the more victimless crimes like ripped-out seats and open drug use get their share of attention, a just-released five-part report from NBC Bay Area crunches the numbers and declares BART one of the most dangerous transportation systems in the country.

There are five separate video segments in NBC Bay Areas Derailed investigative series, which appears only in full on its website. And this of course means that several of them might start playing audio simultaneously when you visit the page. That said, all of them are pretty illuminating, and the video above does a nice job transitioning from BARTs glorious 1970s debut as a Cadillac of public transit, to todays far more troubled system where under-policing may have played a role in the death of Nia Wilson, while over-policing took the life of Oscar Grant.

I carried pepper spray when I commuted to MacArthur, rider Michelle Beltrane tells NBC Bay Area, describing scenes like when she saw a woman sucker-punched by a random assailant on the system. The investigation found that last year, there were four violent crimes for every million rides on the BART system. That may sound microscopic, but its actually one of the worst rates in the country; in Los Angeles its a slightly lower 3.96 per million, New York Citys MTA is less than half that at 1.61, and Washington, D.C. and Atlanta transit systems have violent crime rates even lower than that.

NBC also looked into which station have the worst violent crime rates: The Oakland Coliseum station topped out with 154 violent crimes over the last 5 years, followed by Fruitvale (121), Bayfair (113), and West Oakland (88). The most crime-infested stations here in San Francisco are, unsurprisingly, Civic Center, Powell, and 16th and Mission stations, where one janitor was badly beaten and required four surgeries after a rider accused him of throwing away the riders lunch.

I have a plate holding in my eyeball, because it could fall out if I sneeze or cough too hard, that BART janitor Anthony Delgado tells NBC Bay Area. Delgado adds that he still sees his attacker at the station despite the fact that the rider has been banned, noting the lax enforcement youd expect from a system that once relied on fake security cameras.

But even when BART has security video, theyre notorious for hiding it from the public. NBC Bay Area tried to get surveillance footage from several violent crimes on the system. Theyre saying theyre not going to give you anything, [the videos] are all exempt, NBCs legal counsel Amanda Leith says, after trying.

BART police are quick to point out that crime rates are lower on the system than at the areas surrounding the stations, particularly in downtown Oakland and San Francisco. Were a microcosm of the cities that we traverse, says interim BART police chief Ed Alvarez. We cant have our officers at every train at every station.

The BART Police Department claims to be currently understaffed at 176 officers, and certainly in some situations, theres just not much they can do.

Public sentiment swings all the time on whether we want more aggressive law enforcement on BART, or less. In the wake of the current McMuffin-gate protests and busking ban backlash, the current mood is to complain about over-enforcement. But it only takes one violent teen flash mob to set off complaints that BART policing is too soft. These are complicated issues for transit system, but go a long way in explaining why their ridership numbers are on the wrong track.

Related: Someone Brought a Pony On BART [SFist]

Image: man pikin via Flickr

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Justice grants will help combat human trafficking in Georgia – The Albany Herald

Posted: at 5:52 am

ATLANTA First Lady Marty Kemp joined GRACE Commission members, U.S. Department of Justice officials, Attorney General Chris Carr, and U.S. Attorneys BJay Pak and Charles Peeler recently to announce awards of nearly $153 million to fight human trafficking in Georgia. Approximately $4.3 million will assist law enforcement officials and victim service providers in prosecuting human traffickers and aiding survivors.

Human trafficking is a pervasive, growing threat plaguing communities across our state and country, Kemp said in a news release.

I applaud our federal, state, and local partners who are committed to holding bad actors accountable, seeking justice for victims and helping survivors heal. I am deeply grateful to the U.S. Department of Justice for this new funding that will truly save lives. By working together, we will put an end to this criminal enterprise, once and for all.

We are appreciative of our federal partners who have made it possible to continue and expand on our anti-trafficking efforts, Carr said.

The resources announced today will help ensure more victims in Georgia get the help and support that they need and ensure that law enforcement officials have every tool at their disposal to put buyers and traffickers behind bars where they belong.

The U.S. Attorneys lauded the grants as vital in the ongoing fight against human trafficking.

Human and sex trafficking are not victimless crimes, Pak, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, said. These grants will go a long way in not just furthering our prosecutorial efforts for these terrible crimes, but also in providing much needed victim-centered services. Our office continues to be fully committed to eradicating human trafficking.

In Georgia, the fight against human trafficking is a coordinated effort of federal, state, and local law enforcement and prosecuting agencies working together to identify, arrest, and prosecute those who choose to engage in this horrific industry, Peeler, the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, which includes Albany, said.

In the Middle District, we aggressively investigate and prosecute cases where offenders prey on vulnerable citizens, taking advantage of their age, their desire for love and affection, their financial status and their addictions.

I am confident that these federal dollars will provide critical support to those who are dedicated to protecting victims and arresting perpetrators, which will lead to the end of human trafficking in our state.

Grant awards will support a range of activities designed to bring sex and labor traffickers to justice and provide critical services to victims. A grant to the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council will fund a multidisciplinary task force composed of law enforcement agencies, including the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and several victim service organizations. Funds will also support direct victim services provided under the auspices of the Georgia Coalition to Combat Human Trafficking.

Other awards will help to ensure that children and minors who are victimized receive counseling, case management and other critical services.

The Georgia Care Connection Office Inc., Wellspring Living Inc., Tapestri Inc. and the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy are among the grant recipients.

The remainder of the states awards cover a wide range of criminal justice, juvenile justice and victim service activities. Grants will support school safety initiatives, law enforcement hiring, services for domestic violence and sexual assault victims, inmate re-entry services, youth mentoring, and efforts to combat online child exploitation and manage sex offenders. Awards were made by the three grant-making components of the Department of Justice: OJP, COPS and OVW.

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