ICE recovers Brazilian masterpieces linked to bank fraud

22 Sep 2010 9:48 AM | Anonymous

ICE recovers Brazilian masterpieces linked to bank fraud

ICE Press Release, Sept. 21, 2010

NEW YORK - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) returned two works of art linked to a bank fraud investigation to the government of Brazil at a repatriation ceremony in New York. The paintings were smuggled into the United States in violation of U.S. customs law and were forfeited earlier this year as a result of civil forfeiture action brought by the United States.

The paintings, "Modern Painting with Yellow Interweave" by Roy Lichtenstein and "Figures dans unestructure" by Joaquin Torres-Garcia, once belonged to Brazilian banker Edemarcid Ferreira. He was the founder and former president of Banco Santos, and was convicted in Brazil of crimes against the national financial system and money laundering. In December 2006, Ferreira was sentenced in Brazil to 21 years in prison.

ICE Deputy Director Alonzo R. Peña and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara made the announcement Tuesday. They were joined by senior officials with the Brazilian government.

"We are honored to return these iconic works of art to the people of Brazil," said Peña.

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