David Crespo

Court orders dealer of phony artwork to repay victims

Buyers who obrtained fake artwork from a Madison dealer will receive full restitution after being tricked into spending thousands of dollars on works purported to be by Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall and other masters, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has ruled.

David Crespo, who formerly owned the Brandon Gallery in Madison, was sentenced to almost five years in prison in early 2015 following an undercover sting operation conducted after federal authorities came to believe he was selling fake artwork on eBay. The investigation, which started in 2009, was launched after a customer went to the local police department to complain about being sold a fake.