Jasper Johns’ former assistant charged with fraud

NEW YORK (AP) — A former assistant to Jasper Johns has been charged with selling 22 works he allegedly stole from the pop artist’s Connecticut studio.

The Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office announced the indictment against James Meyer on Thursday. He’s charged with interstate transportation of stolen property and wire fraud.

Meyer, of Salisbury, Conn., was Johns’ studio assistant for more than 25 years. A phone number for his attorney couldn’t immediately be located.

Prosecutors say Meyer removed the artworks from Johns’ studio in Sharon, Conn., without his knowledge between 2006 and 2012. Meyer then allegedly took them to a Manhattan art gallery where he provided the owner with fictitious authentication papers.

Prosecutors say the gallery sold 22 of the works for $6.5 million; half the proceeds went to Meyer.

Johns’ artworks appear in museums around the world.

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