ST. LOUIS (AP) – Brent Farris spent six years eluding U.S. authorities by moving through a host of countries on several continents after he pleaded guilty to bankruptcy fraud. Now, Farris is finally going to prison.
Farris, 49, the former owner of Farris Gallery in St. Louis, was sentenced Friday to 14 months in prison for failure to appear. It ended an ordeal that began in July 2004, when he first pleaded guilty to fraud.
He admitted in the plea that in 2002, he transferred ownership of an oil painting to someone else so that person could auction the painting at Christie’s in New York. The goal was to conceal proceeds of the sale from his bankruptcy case. He was sentenced to 20 months in prison and ordered to pay $300,000 in restitution.
Farris was released on bond prior to going to prison and he fled the country. The U.S. Marshal’s Service tracked him through 14 countries on three continents over a five-year period, federal prosecutors said.
The Marshal’s Service was able to provide information to Italian authorities that led to Farris’ arrest in Rome in 2009. He was taken to an Italian prison for a time, but eventually released to house arrest while the U.S. sought extradition, prosecutors said.
Copyright 2011 Associated Press