Couple Sentenced for Fraud Using Art as Collateral

The couple in May pleaded guilty to mail fraud in the 2004 scheme

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    A former North Texas man must serve five years in prison in an international fraud and investment scam with artwork as collateral.

    A federal judge in Dallas on Tuesday sentenced Eugenio D. Leo and ordered him to pay $3.4 million in restitution. His wife, Jody L. Meyer, received five years of probation and must repay near $432,000.

    The couple in May pleaded guilty to mail fraud in the 2004 scheme.

    Leo was a commodities broker who told investors their money would be used to make short-term loans to museums in Europe. Prosecutors say Leo falsely told investors that artwork from the museums would be the collateral.

    Leo and Meyer instead used the money to buy and resell artwork for themselves.

    Leo and Meyer now live in Harwood Heights, Ill.