ST. PAUL, Minn. - A St. Paul man has been sentenced to three years of probation for claiming his pricey art had been stolen and then collecting insurance money.
A federal judge also ordered Jason Sheedy to pay more than $325,000 in restitution to insurance companies.
The 39-year-old Sheedy could have gone to prison for more than two years, but the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that during sentencing, U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson of St. Paul noted that despite a troubled upbringing in a dysfunctional family, Sheedy had long devoted himself to working in the community, with a resume chock-a-block with good deeds and noble pursuits locally and nationally. While doing all this, he earned a doctorate in business administration.
"Your dedication to your community has been extraordinary," said Nelson, who said she'd gotten 40 letters of support from the man's colleagues, friends, family and others.
"I don't see an evil side of you," she told him.
Federal prosecutors say Sheedy claimed some valuable artwork had been stolen from a van while he was moving in September 2007. The following year he filed insurance claims and was sent checks totaling about $345,000.
In 2011, Sheedy listed six of the painting he said were stolen on an art brokerage website, but an art theft registry business spotted the paintings and alerted police. Sheedy pleaded guilty to wire fraud last year.
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