Lawsuit Filed In Pebble Beach Art Heist Case
Alleged Victims File Defamation Lawsuit
POSTED: 7:59 am PDT October 1, 2010
UPDATED: 9:12 am PDT October 1, 2010
MONTEREY, Calif. — Two men who said they are the victims of a multimillion-dollar art heist in Pebble Beach last year have filed a lawsuit against Monterey County and members of the Monterey County Sheriff’s Department.
The lawsuit filed Thursday by Dr. Ralph Kennaugh and Benjamin Amadio claims defamation and false light statements were made by Monterey County, the Monterey County Sheriff’s Department, Sheriff Mike Kanalakis, Monterey County Sheriff spokesman Mike Richards and 25 John Does.
PDF: Pebble Beach Art Heist Complaint
The lawsuit comes nearly a year after Kennaugh and Amadio reported a theft of artworks from their rental home at Pebble Beach on Sept. 25.
The stolen collection — which includes works by Jackson Pollock, Rembrandt and Van Gogh — was estimated to be worth as much as $80 million.
The first court date for the case has been set for Feb. 25, 2011.
A press conference to discuss the lawsuit is scheduled to be held at the Monterey County courthouse on Tuesday.
Both Amadio and Kennaugh said they believe the heist was an inside job and done by a professional who had knowledge of what art was at the home.
As for the investigation into the art theft, sheriff’s investigators said they haven’t seen any new evidence, which left them with their original question: Did the artwork ever exist, and was there even a crime?
So far, the sheriff’s department has sent nothing to the district attorney’s office which would be necessary before any charges could be filed against anybody.
Refresh KSBW.com for more on this developing story.