Aug. 17--A highly-educated former management consultant to the Carter Center in Atlanta pleaded guilty Friday in St. Paul to filing nearly $350,000 in bogus insurance claims for artwork, historical artifacts and household goods that he falsely reported stolen in 2007.
Jason W. Sheedy, 39, of St. Paul, faces 21 to 27 months in prison and up to three years of supervised release according to federal sentencing guidelines, though he could be imprisoned for up to 20 years. The final decision will be up to U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson.
Sheedy appeared chipper as he ticked off his list of college degrees for Nelson, which terminated with a doctorate in business and some post-doctoral work in psychology.
But his education didn't stop him from making some stupid mistakes.
Sheedy was caught last year trying to auction off some of the artworks that he previously had reported as stolen. An employee of the Art Loss Register, which specializes in deterring and investigating international art theft, notified law enforcement that six of the items were being auctioned through an Internet site called Artbrokerage.com.
Sheedy had told Minneapolis police in 2007 that the art and some valuable household items were stolen from a rented moving van as he waited for a new condo to be finished.
He filed a $274,905 insurance claim over the art and historical items with AXA Art Insurance Corp., which paid him $254,832 in January 2008. He collected $93,302.35 from Farmer's Insurance Group in February 2008 for the household goods.
Among the items Sheedy reported stolen were three photos signed by former President Jimmy Carter and the Dalai Lama holding their respective Nobel Peace Prizes. He estimated their value at $20,500.
The case was investigated by the FBI and the Minnesota Department of Commerce. According to FBI special agent Amanda Knez, Sheedy had pawned and redeemed some of the missing pieces several times before he listed them on the auction site.
Investigators searched Sheedy's home in the 1800 block of Feronia Avenue in St. Paul and found 22 works of art and historic items that had been reported missing.
The Carter Center in Atlanta listed Sheedy on its board of councilors when the FBI raided his home in September 2011. He also was listed as a donor who gave between $25,000 and $99,999 to the center during 2008-2009.
The missing artworks included "Robbers Inferno," a 24-inch wood engraving from Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali's "Divine Comedy" portfolio; eight works by Rembrandt: "Bust of a Man," "Christ and the Woman," "Landscape With Cow," "Self-Portrait," "Artist's Mother," "The Card Player," "The Golf Player" and "The Raising of Lazarus"; two works by Russian-born French artist and designer Erte (Romain de Tirtoff); two by Ukrainian-American artist Anatole Krasnyansky and two by American pop artist Peter Max.
As part of his plea agreement, he forfeited the works and household goods, which will be auctioned off. The proceeds will offset any restitution the judge orders, estimated to be at least $348,134.35.
Dan Browning --612-673-4493
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