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Sep 9, 2010 3:19 PM by Greg Boyce

Missing painting spawns lawsuit

NEW YORK (AP) - Federal authorities say a man fooled a New York art collector into thinking they were partners in the $1.1 million purchase of a missing painting when he was actually ripping her off.

Thomas Doyle was charged Thursday with conspiracy and wire fraud in the dealings over a painting by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot entitled "Portrait of a Girl."  A criminal complaint says Doyle convinced an investor to pay him $880,000 for an ownership share of the painting. Authorities say Doyle had already bought the painting for $775,000.  A message seeking comment left on Doyle's cell phone was not immediately returned.

A lawsuit says another man entrusted with helping to sell the painting said he lost it in New York City in July while in a drunken haze.

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