Due to legal concerns, I’ve decided that the best move is unfortunately to disable all comments on this post. – RJ Rushmore
This is probably old news to a lot of readers, but maybe not to all: LAPD’s art fraud unit is currently investigating JetSet Graffiti for various allegations of theft and fraud. JetSet Graffiti is an online gallery run by Daniel Lahoda to sell prints and occasionally original work by street artists and graffiti writers. In the past, JetSet Graffiti has released prints with artists such as Ron English, D*Face and Saber. This isn’t the first time that accusations have been made against JetSet Graffiti, but to my knowledge this is the first time that police are investigating the business.
On August 31st, a message appeared on the Urban Art Assocation/Banksy Forum. Silky, the forum moderator, posted an email from an investigator at the LAPD. You can read the message on the forum, but it essentially said that the LAPD were trying to reach anybody who had had bad business experiences with Lahoda.
Then, around September 16th, the LAPD posted a “Crime Alert” about Lahoda on their website. The crime alert (available online) is an information request once again asking for anyone potentially defrauded by Lahoda to come forward as well as a warning about complaints that have been received. The LAPD says that they have gotten complaints including “art ordered and paid for but never delivered,” “taking art on consignment and diverting the art and money obtained for his own use,” “selling unauthorized prints” and other issues as well. The alert also claims that Lahoda was fired from three jobs over the last 6 years for embezzling funds (I’ve attempted to reach these companies, but could only get a hold of one. They declined to comment). It’s important to note that even given all these things, the report states that Lahoda “is not wanted by the police at this time.”
I spoke with Detective Don Hrycyk at the LAPD, the officer in charge of investigating Lahoda. He gave one example of the numerous complaints that he had received which he believed to be true: Allegedly, a buyer in England gave $8000 to Lahoda for a Banksy print, but never received the artwork.
Lahoda and I were in touch by phone and email both before and after the crime alert was posted online. He offered to answer some questions for Vandalog in an effort to explain his side of the story. Despite repeated emails to Lahoda and his repeated assurance that he would be responding to the questions in a matter of days, I’ve still not heard back from him after a few weeks, so I’ve had to publish this without his comments.