This afternoon marked the historic arrest of former President Donald Trump, the first person elected to the highest office in the U.S. ever to face criminal charges. But before the one-time commander-in-chief stepped into 100 Centre Street to enter his not-guilty plea on 34 felony counts, Judge Juan Merchan also oversaw a calendar appearance for an alleged art thief accused of stealing nine paintings from a West Village townhouse.
The accused is one Raymond Bouderau, age 49, and the charge is one count burglary in the second degree. He was arraigned in criminal court on December 1, with bail set at $75,000 cash or $100,000 bond. Following today’s calendar appearance, Bouderau—a movie producer whose most high-profile credit is 2020’s —is due back in court on May 2.
As of press time, neither Bouderau’s lawyer, Elena Fast, nor the assistant district attorney on the case, Ana Sophia Radolinski, had responded to inquiries from Artnet News.
Bouderau has separately been charged along with his girlfriend, 57-year-old Jacqueline Jewett, with the burglary of a home in South Hampton. Both residences belong to the same victim, and Bouderau is alleged to have made off with more than $1 million in art, jewelry, and cash, as well as more than two cases of wine, 750 grams of a substance that tested positive for ketamine, and an AR-15 rifle and other firearms.
“The investigation of these alleged crimes revealed a criminal plan that reads like a movie script, a bad movie script,” Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney said at a December news conference, as reported by . “Jewett and Bouderau were involved in an on-again, off-again boyfriend girlfriend relationship. They targeted the victim because she was in a relationship with Jewett’s ex-paramour.”
The two crimes took place on September 25, when the victim—the significant other of Jewett’s former boyfriend—was out of town. Bouderau was identified as a suspect using video surveillance footage and license plate readers that proved a pickup truck registered in his name had been near both crime scenes.
Prosecutors believe Jewett used her ex-boyfriend’s iCloud account to gain details about the victim’s homes and possessions that the couple used to carry out the theft.
“[The victim] returned back to the house and observed one of the windows had been tampered with along with the cellar gate unlocked,” Detective Joseph Metsopulos said in the complaint for the Manhattan theft. “Nine paintings were taken from the house and that no one had permission or authority to take or possess these items.”
Police found that in Sag Harbor, the burglars had broken a basement window, cut electrical lines, and tripped the circuit breakers to gain access to the home. The culprits ransacked the home.
Authorities recovered much of the stolen property from the Sag Harbor home during a raid of Bouderau’s Manhattan apartment on November 30. To date, there are no details about the artists who created the stolen paintings, or whether those are still missing.
“Pictures of artwork and some stolen materials were found on Bouderau’s phone, and it is believed he was looking at various pieces of artwork to try to determine their worth,” Tierney said, as reported by the .
In Suffolk county, Bouderau faces additional charges of first-degree grand larceny, second-degree burglary, and fourth-degree conspiracy. Jewett is charged with first-degree grand larceny and second-degree burglary. In December, Judge Steven Tekulsky had ordered Bouderau to be held without bail.
“Life is not like the movies. These defendants thought it would be a good idea to pull a ‘heist,’ wherein they secretly gathered criminal intelligence about their wealthy target, orchestrated unlawful intrusions into two locations and made off with well over $1 million dollars in proceeds,” Tierney said, as reported by Patch. “Fortunately, unlike the movies, Suffolk County law enforcement does not sit idly by, and together, detective investigators from the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, the New York State Police, and the Sag Harbor Police Department were able to swiftly solve this case.”
On Tuesday, Bouderau’s courtroom appearance took place in Part F, the same room where Trump entered his not-guilty plea just a few short hours later. The former president was indicted on charges stemming from a $130,000 payment made during his 2016 campaign to adult film star Stormy Daniels, to keep her from publicizing their previous sexual relationship.