A St. Paul man was charged Monday in federal court with one count of wire fraud for filing a false, quarter-million dollar insurance claim for several works of fine art he reported as stolen.
Jason William Sheedy, 39, allegedly devised a scheme to get more than $250,000 from the AXA Art Insurance Corporation through fraud. According to the charges, in September 2007 Sheedy insured several works of art and items of historical value with AXA.
On September 27, 2007, he filed an insurance claim for $274,905, reporting the art and other items had been stolen from a moving van. On January 28, 2008, AXA mailed Sheedy a check for $254,832.
The man who claims to be an international business consultant and high-end art collector might have been able to get away with that sum -- except officials say Sheedy tried to cash-in a second time.
On May 24, 2011, Sheedy allegedly listed six of the paintings previously reported stolen on the auction house website ArtBrokerage.com. Listed paintings included works by Rembrandt and Salvador Dali.
Just before Christmas, the FBI raided Sheedy's home in St. Paul and found more than 20 pieces of art that had been reported stolen along with signed pictures of President Jimmy Carter and the Dalai Lama accepting their Nobel Peace Prizes.
During their investigation, the FBI also found out that Sheedy had taken a painting by Salvador Dali to Pawn America for a short-term loan.
If convicted, Sheedy faces a potential maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. All sentences will be determined by a federal judge.