}

Friday, June 29, 2018

CRACK APPLE NIGHTS...AND COLD BOLOGNA SANDWICHES! Feds Unseal David Damante's Alleged Violations Of Supervision; Secret New Mexico Corporations & An Arizona Doggie Treat Company

BREAKING NEWS! 

“I noticed something unusual when I took Taco out to piddle, that when I called him he came right away without being fixated on sniffing and he had a lot more energy!”

PAWfect Protein Bitez testimonial

David Damante heads to a Las Vegas courtroom at 9:30am this morning, June 29, 2018, for a formal revocation hearing.

But a document filed late yesterday in U. S. District Court reveals the stunning allegations against Damante, including his secret role in the formation of three New Mexico corporations and using his purported ownership of two Jean-Michel Basquiat paintings to fraudulently obtain hundreds of thousands of dollars.

SUMMARY OF ALLEGATIONS 

According to this excerpt from the government's June 28, 2018 petition addendum, Damante is operating businesses he failed to disclose to probation.

In addition, Damante has executed several financial agreements without the knowledge and/or approval of the probation office, along with incurring debt. Of significant interest to the probation office is Damante appears to be using his purported ownership/interest in works of art to secure debt. 

According to one document, it appears he obtained $375,000 from a Heidi Hegg wherein he secured this debt by “assigning” Hegg an interest in a work of art titled “Helicopter”. 

Damante, using the same piece of “art”, appears to have incurred debt in an unknown amount from Maria Alexandra Senecal. Damante cashed two checks totaling over $50,000. Investigation revealed these checks were issued to Damante from a Scott Michael Cantor, LTD. client trust account. [NOTE: In 2016, Cantor was suspended from practicing law for 60 days and placed on probation for one year after he stipulated to committing professional misconduct in Nevada. Cantor entered a conditional guilty plea with the State Bar of Nevada that included a stipulation of facts and admission of violating several of Nevada’s Rules of Professional Misconduct in handling three separate client matters, including: failing to perform legal services with competence, receiving illegal fees, failing to uphold the law, failing to inform clients of significant case developments and disobeying a court order.]

In the “For” section of one of these checks, it states “Senecal Adv [illegible] “Helicopter” and the second check states “Bal of “Helicopter” Advance”. [NOTE: An online auction of the painting, originally scheduled for June 29, 2018 by J. Levine of Scottsdale, Arizona, was abruptly cancelled.]

This certainly gives rise to suspicion, based on Damante’s history of obtaining funds through fraudulent means, that he is once again perpetuating fraud by obtaining monies from unsuspecting victims who believe their monies are secured by art work. 

Damante has failed to disclose to probation, as required, his interest and/or ownership of any art work. 

It is unknown at this time if these works of art exist, and whether or not Damante has a legal interest/ownership. 

Regardless, Damante is either committing fraud against unsuspecting victims, or committing perjury by providing false statements to the probation office with regard to his assets and monies received. 

The government's addendum identified Damante's violations, including his failure to disclose financial information; prohibition against committing any additional crime; restrictions on self-employment and incurring new lines of credit or financial obligations.

ACCESS TO FINANCIAL INFORMATION 

On April 9, 2018, Damante executed and submitted a Declaration or Offender Net Worth and Cash Flow Statements and declared under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. 

The financial statement specifically instructed Damante to list all assets, including art, paintings, coin collections, etc. 

Damante failed to disclose any assets, simply writing “N/A” in this section. 

On June 22, 2018, a search of Damante’s vehicle was executed by officers with the United States Probation Office. Documents were located in Damante’s vehicle bearing his signature purporting ownership of a work of art titled “Helicopter” and another work of art titled “Crack Apple Nights”. 

Damante failed to disclose his ownership/interest in these assets to the probation office. 

SHALL NOT COMMIT CRIME 

On April 8, 2018, Damante executed a Declaration of Defendant or Offender Net Worth Statement & Cash Flow Statements under penalty of perjury with knowledge of the penalties for false statements. 

The financial statement specifically instructed Damante to list “Other Assets” (include any cash on hand, jewelry, art, paintings, etc.) As referenced above, documents recovered from Damante’s vehicle identify him as owner of two pieces of art. 

Damante falsified this statement by failing to disclose his ownership/interest in two works of art titled “Helicopter” and “Crack Apple Nights” (at left). 

EMPLOYMENT RESTRICTIONS 

Damante is restricted from engaging in employment, consulting, or any association with self-employment for a period of two years, except as discussed and approved by his probation officer. 

On June 22, 2018, a search of Damante’s vehicle was executed by officers with the United States Probation Office. 

Officers recovered numerous documents titled “Settlement Agreement, Assignment and Release”, identifying Damante as the Managing Member for Sinuessa Fine Art, LLC. Damante signed these documents as the Managing Member for the limited liability company. [NOTE: That entity was formed in New Mexico, a state known for permitting anonymous LLC's. In addition, New Mexico does not require annual reports, limiting public disclosure of businesses formed in the state.]

In addition, numerous plastic cards bearing the business name of Pawfect Protein Bitez with Damante’s name embossed on the cards identifying him as the owner/operator of this business was recovered from his vehicle. Damante failed to disclose his interest/ownership of this business and was self-employed without obtaining approval from the probation office. [NOTE: Pawfect Protein Bitez, LLC was formed on April 18, 2018 in New Mexico, four days after David Damante registered the domain name, http://pawfectproteinbitez.com/, under his own name at a Las Vegas address.]

The company's site shows a Dolan Springs, Arizona, mailing address linked to a rundown Mail and More location, and its phone number links to a site alleging Damante offered money for sex




In addition, Austin J. Feldman, a Scottsdale, Arizona, resident, identifies himself as the Chief Operations Officer of Pawfect. 
Feldman personally endorses Damante's pet treat business on his networking site, austinswhoswho.com, without disclosing the apparent conflict of interest.


DEBT OBLIGATIONS 

Damante is prohibited from incurring new credit charges, opening additional lines of credit, or negotiating or consummating any financial contracts without the approval of his probation officer. 

On June 5, 2018, as managing member for Sinuessa Fine Art, LLC, Damante executed a financial document titled “Agreement” wherein he conveyed a work of art referenced to as “Helicopter” to Lumsden Quan [NOTE: Quan is a San Francisco-based art dealer who was sentenced on December 16, 2015, to one year and two days sentence for knowingly selling black rhinoceros horns to an undercover agent of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.]

According to this document, the conveyance of this work of art was the resolution of a dispute between the two parties “regarding ownership of an unfinished work for art attributed to the late artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat, that being, a mixed media work in paint, spray paint, and oil stick on wood panel, measuring 64” x 48”, known by the working titles of “Helicopter” and “Helicopter Cityscape” (shown at left). 

Damante executed this financial agreement without the approval of the probation officer. 

On May 30, 2018, Damante, as managing member of Sinuessa Fine Art, LLC, executed a financial agreement titled “Settlement Agreement, Assignment and Release”. 

According to this agreement, Damante is indebted to Heidi Hegg in the amount of $375,000 whereas this “debt” was secured by assigning to Hegg “an interest in a work of art attributed to the late artist Jean-Michel Basquiat known by the working title “Helicopter” or “Helicopter Cityscape” purportedly owned by Damante. 

Damante did not have the approval of the probation officer to incur this debt, or consummate his financial agreement.

On May 31, 2018, Damante, as managing member of Sinuessa Fine Art, LLC, executed a financial agreement titled “Settlement Agreement, Assignment and Release”. 

According to this agreement, Damante is indebted to Maria Alexandra Senecal for an unknown amount whereas this “debt” was secured by assigning to Senecal “an interest in a work of art attributed to the late artist Jean-Michel Basquiat known by the working title “Helicopter” or “Helicopter Cityscape” purportedly owned by Damante. 

Damante did not have the approval of the probation officer to incur this debt, or consummate this financial agreement. 

MORE QUESTIONS...WILL THERE BE ANSWERS?

The so-called Basquiat paintings purported to be Damante's appear not to have been authenticated, and one is still on the market.

For example, the work identified in the court document as Crack Apple Nights was offered for sale in 2013 online as Crack Apple Night, cautiously stating it was painted “in the manner of” Jean-Michel Basquiat.

There were no bids, but a Las Vegas outfit called ArtEncounter currently has it listed on their site with this description:


“The above pictured work of art meets many of the criteria associated with the straightforward, stream of consciousness style executed by Jean-Michel Basquiat.”


$18,000,000...for a maybe?

Looks like David Damante might not be the only crook in Las Vegas...allegedly!

More details to come.