Above, "Mr Big" Lawyer Michael Morse
Michael Morse crew, Ray Hobin, Darryl Vincent, Ira Hussey Aaron Sherman Sergei Khatchaturov and sibling Yurii Khatchaturov
Aaron Sherman's mother Penny used to roll with the Michael Morse gang, Ray Hobin, Darryl Vincent, Ira Hussey etc.
How about Sergei Khatchaturov and sibling Yurii Khatchaturov or Hines and Gagne ?
Art stolen from Steinberg heir likely to go to organized crime: expertDozens of paintings stolen from the residence of a wealthy couple in the Laurentians are likely destined to end up in the hands of organized crime figures who use artworks as currency, an expert on the subject says.
Earlier this week, 25 to 30 paintings were stolen from a home in Ivry-sur-le-Lac owned by Mitzi Steinberg-Dobrin, heir to the former Steinberg grocery chain and her husband, Mel Dobrin, a former president of the chain, La Presse reported.
Some of the paintings are estimated to be worth more than $100,000. The town of Ivry-sur-le-Lac is about 110 kilometres north of Montreal. Experts with the Sûreté du Québec’s investigative unit specializing in stolen artwork are working on the case along with colleagues based in the Laurentians, police spokesperson Sgt. Annie Thibodeau said.
The couple could not be reached for comment. Their son told La Presse his parents had amassed a large collection of artwork over four decades. The theft appears to be an expert job because the thieves managed to turn off the home’s alarm system, and they were apparently selective with the paintings they chose.
Alain Lacoursière, a former detective with the Montreal police who specialized in recovering stolen artwork, said valuable stolen paintings often end up in the hands of organized crime figures even if they can never be hung on a wall and appreciated for their beauty.
“To people in organized crime, they represent 20 per cent of the cash value of the painting. They are easy to transport and they are easy to get across a border,” he said, adding he has seen cases where expensive paintings ended up in Russia or Colombia and were used to purchase drugs from drug traffickers based in those countries.
“The artwork remains a form of currency throughout. They remain hidden away in a closet. It’s not like in the movies, where some guy who really appreciates art has a secret room in his mansion (where he displays it). I have never seen that in my entire career.”
One case that stands out in his memory involved artwork stolen from homes in Westmount and Outremont during the late 1990s that was found in October 2000 in the Laval home of Joseph Ghaleb, a notorious loanshark who had ties to the Hells Angels and the Montreal Mafia who was murdered in 2004.
Last month, police in Italy recovered two paintings by Vincent Van Gogh in a farmhouse near Castellammare di Stabia that investigators linked to two Camorra drug kingpins, Mario Cerrone and Raffaele Imperiale. The paintings had been stolen from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in 2002, and were found hidden in a safe wrapped in a cloth.
Lacoursière, who now has an appraisal company, Expertises Alain Lacoursière, said that the list of people in Quebec who could have pulled of such a heist is a very short one.
“There are three guys, maybe five tops, who can pull off a job like that – where they know a lot about art. You have to possess a great deal of knowledge about art to do something like that,” Lacoursière said. And he means three people in particular. “The Sûreté du Québec knows who they are and will likely want to talk to them.”
The Sûreté du Québec is asking anyone with information on the theft to contact them at 1-800-659-4264.