August 15, 2013

Jasper Johns' former assistant charged with fraud

Prosecutors say James Meyer removed the artworks from Johns' studio without his knowledge between 2006 and 2012 and sold them through a Manhattan gallery.

The Associated Press

NEW YORK — A former assistant to Jasper Johns has been charged with selling 22 works he allegedly stole from the pop artist's Connecticut studio.

The Manhattan U.S. attorney's office announced the indictment against James Meyer, of Salisbury, Conn., on Thursday. He's charged with interstate transportation of stolen property and wire fraud.

He was Johns' studio assistant for over 25 years.

Prosecutors say he removed the artworks from Johns' studio in Sharon, Conn., without his knowledge between 2006 and 2012. Meyer then allegedly took them to a Manhattan art gallery where he provided the owner with fictitious authentication papers.

Prosecutors say the gallery sold 22 of the works for $6.5 million; half the proceeds went to Meyer.

His attorney couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Johns' artworks appear in museums around the world.

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