Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Stolen Art Settlement (UPDATED)

The lawsuit to determine ownership of three paintings stolen more than 30 years ago (mentioned earlier here) has been resolved. The Worcester Telegram & Gazette's report begins: "A federal judge in Rhode Island has ruled the Yoffie estate is the rightful owner of three paintings stolen from a Shrewsbury home ...." But that's a highly misleading way of putting it. The judge didn't really rule on the case -- the parties reached a settlement, and the judge merely rubber-stamped it. So the question is: what did the insurance company get in return?

UPDATE: The Boston Globe gets it right: "
Last week, US District Court Chief Judge Mary Lisi signed a consent decree formalizing an agreement by all three parties that the rightful owners are Alan Yoffie and his siblings." They also add that "Patrick Conley received an undisclosed sum from the Yoffie family as a reward for 'finding' the paintings," but "bound by a confidentiality clause in the consent decree," he wouldn't say how much.