Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Washington - Immigration and Customs Enforcement, (ICE) obtained a restraining order preventing the removal of the famous Pablo Picasso Painting "Competier et tasse", with a value of over $11 million dollars.  The painting was being offered for private sale for $11.5 million when ICE took custody of the painting and presented it's restraining order.

Competier et tasse

Italians Gabriella Amati. and her late husband, Angelo Maj, allegedly appropriated tax revenue from the city of Naples using a variety of schemes.  The painting was not stolen.  However, it was acquired from the stolen tax money.  When Amati and Maj got caught, they filed for bankruptcy and then began selling off assets to line their own pockets.

The Department of Justice said in an ICE press release:
“Restraining this Picasso painting is yet another example of the Justice Department’s close partnership with law enforcement around the world,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman. “Our asset forfeiture section is committed to finding and securing every last penny of criminal proceeds and putting those ill-gotten proceeds back in the hands of victims, regardless of where they reside.” 
The United States has gained a black eye for many of it's activities around the world.  Using water-torture in Guantanamo Bay Cuba, the invasion of various countries based on unfounded accusation, the treatment of immigrants within the U.S., the attack on the free press within the U.S. are causes for concern.  Unfortunately, few people give this country credit for the great acts they complete.   ICE has been involved in returning Nazi Art, stopping sex trafficking, finding and arresting a child molester and child pornographer.

Cooperating with the Italian government to return stolen assets shows a government that cares about other people in the world, that eschews corruption which has corroded other nations, and which is devoted to it's duties to protect U.S. patent and trade law.

A country which protects it's people and is a good world citizen is an attractive country.  The U.S. is currently working on revisions to it's immigration policy so it can better treat immigrants who live under U.S. skies.  Also, high tech firms that need assistance will be able to solve some of their labor needs through loosed visas.  Meanwhile, schemes to defraud the people, as has allegedly occurred with Amati, must be put to rest as quickly as possible.  The U.S. has participated to the extent it can in this effort.

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