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Friday, August 17, 2018

DAVID DAMANTE CHECKING INTO GREY BAR HOTEL FOR ANOTHER STAY: Notorious Las Vegas Fraudster Found To Have Violated The Terms Of His Release During August 10 Hearing; Damante's Attorney Scott Michael Cantor Hauled In Front Of Judge


“Please don't give this story anymore light. Who knows, for all we know, he might be going into witness protection. Very strong possibility.” 
Taryn Burns
July 5, 2018 email

AUGUST 20 UPDATE: David Damante sentenced to 14 months in federal prison.

BREAKING NEWS! David Damante found to have violated terms of his supervised release!

Beginning in August 2017, convicted felon David Damante bilked several people out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, 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.

Arrested on June 22, 2018 for violating the terms of his supervised release, Damante was found to have violated those terms during an August 10, 2018 hearing in front of U. S. District Court Judge Andrew P. Gordon. Although sentencing details have not yet been publicly released, a court document filed late yesterday (August 16) confirms that Damante remains in custody. 

BACKSTORY On June 5, 2018, as managing member for New Mexico-based Sinuessa Fine Art, LLC, Damante executed a financial document titled “Agreement”, conveying a work of art referenced to as “Helicopter” to Lumsden (Lu) Quan.

And that document was part of the fakes, forgery and fugazi designed to convince someone (or anyone) the painting in question was really a Basquiat.

Aided by his 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 with fugazi Basquiat
Damante's first victims, Rick Belcastro and Brandon Holmes, signed a formal “Transfer and Conveyance of Proceeds and Security Agreement”, drafted on Damante's behalf by Cantor, 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.

The evidence I've gathered strongly indicates it continued and expanded.

During the June 29 hearing, Damante admitted the following: 

—On his April 9, 2018, Declaration of Offender Net Worth and Cash Flow Statements form, Damante was specifically instructed to list all assets, including art, paintings, coin collections, etc. However, Damante failed to disclose any assets, simply writing “N/A” in this section. 

 —On June 22, 2018, during a search of Damante’s vehicle conducted by officers with the United States Probation Office, documents were located in the 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. 

—Damante admitted to using “a work of art attributed to the late artist Jean-Michel Basquiat known by the working title “Helicopter” or “Helicopter Cityscape” he purportedly owned to fraudulently obtain $375,000 from Heidi Hegg. Using the same piece of “art”, Damante admitted incurring debt in an as yet unknown amount from Maria Alexandra Senecal. 

Damante admitted cashing two checks totaling over $50,000 issued to him by Las Vegas attorney, Scott Michael Cantor, from a client trust account. 


On June 5, 2018, as managing member for Sinuessa Fine Art, LLC, David Damante executed a financial document titled “Agreement”, conveying a work of art referenced to as “Helicopter” to Lumsden (Lu) Quan. 

According to the June 5 document, the conveyance of the painting 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”—Quan and Damante both claimed ownership of the single original artwork. 

After receiving an email threat on July 5, 2018 (left) from Taryn Burns, I began investigating Quan (who met Damante while both were in federal prison in Southern California), Burns and their shared past—and discovered a multi-million dollar art forgery scam, a man with ties to the former Colombian drug cartel and a mini-submarine. 

In my opinion, Quan is the next domino to fall in this sordid story.

But that's a tale for another day.

As more information, including documents, becomes available, I will bring it all to you.


  1. dont you have anything better to do than this

    1. No, I have nothing better to do than this...NOT! As this your second message along the same theme("seems to me that you could find alot better things to do with your time"), I must assume that you are directly involved with Damante or one of his crooked cohorts.

      Next time you submit a comment, do it under your own name.

      If you don't, I won't publish it, and you won't savor the thrill of seeing your veiled threat go live on this blog.