A Brazilian woman has been accused of conning her mother out of $139 million in art with the help of a “psychic.” According to police in Rio de Janeiro, they are seeking six people who are involved with the elaborate scheme to separate the widow from her prized works of art. The victim was married to an art dealer and collector.
The stolen art includes pieces by some of Brazil’s greatest artists including Tarsila do Amaral and Emiliano Di Cavalcanti. It has also been reported by AFP that Cicero Dias, Rubens Gerchman, and Alberto Guignard are also included in the works of art.
It wasn’t a heist where the daughter stole the artwork, instead it was a detailed and elaborate con that separated the woman from her priceless art. According to a Facebook post by police, over the course of two years, the mother paid exorbitant amounts of money to “save” her daughter’s life.
In January 2020, a self-proclaimed psychic visited the widow in the Copacabana neighborhood and told her of her daughter’s life-threatening illness that needed spiritual intervention. As someone with mystical beliefs, the woman was eager to do what needed to be done to protect her daughter, this includes paying 5 million reais (about $969,000) in bank transfers.
The daughter also made sure to fire domestic employees so her accomplices could remove the works of art without issue, as the con progressed, as a means of isolating her mother and continuing the con. Things started to unravel when the mother became suspicious of her daughter.
Eventually, some of the art was recovered from a gallery in São Paulo, Brazil, and two of them have been discovered to have been sold to the Museum of Latin American Art in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The widow has been identified as Genevieve Boghici, according to the museum, and the daughter Sabine Coll Boghici and four people have been arrested.