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July 29, 2014

ARCA '14 Art Crime Conference: Jordan Arnold on "Hello Dalí: Anatomy of a Modern Day Art Theft Investigation"

Jordan Arnold, formerly with New York County
District Attorney's Office
AMELIA -- At ARCA's Art Crime Conference on June 29, Jordan Arnold, formerly head of the Financial Intelligence Unit with the New York County District Attorney’s Office, spoke about the recent art theft investigation which involved artwork by Salvatore Dalí.
In the middle of the afternoon on June 19, 2012, inside an art gallery near Central Park, a man removed a 1949 Salvador Dali watercolor from the wall, placed it in a shopping bag and disappeared into the streets of Manhattan. The ensuing international investigation—led by NYPD Major Case Squad detectives and a Manhattan DA prosecutor—provides an illustrative case study of modern investigative techniques joined with time-tested law enforcement methods to recover a stolen work of art and convict the thief. 
The lead prosecutor in The People v. Phivos Istavrioglou, Arnold presented a concise narrative of the investigation into the theft by Cartel des Don Juan Tenorio, including: determining initial investigative steps; ruling out an inside job; recovering the piece; identifying the thief (a foreign national); placing him in Manhattan that day; using social media to track him to Europe (right down to his favorite café); seizing damning digital evidence of his guilt; luring him back to New York (through an elaborate undercover sting), and; securing his confession, indictment and conviction. The presentation included an explanation of the tools, techniques and approaches utilized, and the attendant legal considerations.
Jordan Arnold is with the New York office of K2 Intelligence, an investigative and risk consulting firm. Jordan previously served as a prosecutor with the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, where he created and headed its Financial Intelligence Unit. Prior to that, Jordan served on the homicide chart and as lead prosecutor for the NYPD Major Case Squad. Twitter @jordarnold.