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Friday, July 6, 2018

PAINT BY NUMBERS: David Damante's Scheme To Sell Art He Didn't Own Using Forged Documents Created By A Las Vegas Mouthpiece Working Both Sides Of The Street!


“Please don't give this story anymore light. Who knows, for all we know, he might be going into witness protection. Very strong possibility.”

During a June 29, 2018 court hearing, Las Vegas-based con man David Damante (left) admitted violating multiple conditions of his supervised release, including using his purported ownership of two Jean-Michel Basquiat paintings to fraudulently obtain nearly $500,000 from three victims between March and June of this year.

In advance of his scheduled probation revocation hearing this morning in U. S. District Court in Las Vegas, I'm breaking the news that Damante's scheme began at least one year ago.

Aided by Las Vegas attorney, Scott Michael Cantor, Damante (using the fictitious last name Diamante), signed false affidavits, obtained an appraisal from a woman falsely portraying herself as an official member of the American Society of Appraisers (ASA), used forged letters reputed to have been issued by the Authentication Committee of the Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat, and created forged insurance documents purportedly issued by a British firm specializing in cargo and freight liability.

Damante's first victims, Rick Belcastro and Brandon Holmes, signed a formal Transfer Agreement on August 15, 2017.

Belcastro, the former owner of the Badda Bing, a Las Vegas strip club, died on January 28, 2018.

But, unlike Belcastro, Damante's fugazi Basquiat scam didn't go tits-up.

It survived, and here is the first installment of the real story behind the scam—with the actual documents Damante used to pull it off.


Damante claimed to own several works of art by the late Jean-Michel Basquiat, including Crack Apple Night, Swampland Children, Nero and Legal.

However, in the August 15, 2017 “Transfer and Conveyance of Proceeds and Security Agreeement”, Damante sold an interest in another Basquiat artwork he claimed to own, known by the working title “Helicopter”.
Belcastro and Holmes advanced Damante $25,000, and in exchange for a $335,000 note, Damante offered the pair a 2.5% interest in the artwork.

Here is the entire agreement:

And who is Aida L. Miranda, who notarized Damante's signature on this agreement?

She is a paralegal, who worked for Las Vegas attorney Scott Michael Cantor.

More news in Part 2, including forged documents, and a stunning revelation about a late-night threat to your girl, Miss Fortune!

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