Museum Security Network

Seattle art dealer sentenced to four years for stealing artwork

Disgraced art dealer Kurt Lidtke was sentenced Friday to four years in
prison after admitting to taking part in a chain of art burglaries.

Having pleaded guilty along with two other conspirators — including
his former cellmate — Lidtke, 45, admitted to hatching the scheme to
burglarize the homes of wealthy art patrons while behind bars on an
earlier art theft charges. Lidkte directed one burglary and nearly
orchestrated a second; all told, at least $600,000 worth of art was
either stolen or at risk.

The scheme was doomed from the start, investigators claim, as Lidtke’s
big buyer since his release was an undercover FBI agent posing as an
art trafficker.

Writing the court, Lidtke’s attorney had asked he be sentenced to 2
years in federal prison; federal prosecutors had asked for a five-year
term. U.S. District Court Judge Robert S. Lasnik sentenced Lidtke on
Friday at a Seattle courtroom and will sentence Lidtke’s co-defendants
in coming weeks.

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Seattle art dealer sentenced to four years for stealing artwork.

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