Laslo Long, who owns a number of warehouses in Miami, insured a dockside warehouse as a Valuable Art Bonded Storage Facility.
The warehouse inventory listed rarely seen museum collection pieces of art by: Matisse, Andy Warhol, Alexander Calder, and comic artist Al Capp who wrote Li'l Abner, and others.
Last week garbage in the warehouse spontaneously combusted and the facility burned to the ground. Long filed an insurance claim immediately. No one was hurt in the fire.
Forensics from Miami Police found no evidence of art but a massive barge with smoldering garbage remains.
On Monday New York State authorities arrested Laslo Long for the charges of insurance fraud, US Customs violations, and toxic waste pollution.
Long, who is in an early stage of dementia, tried to escape in a taxi that was immediately stuck in traffic. The taxi driver, who had nothing on from the waist down, was also arrested for indecent exposure and resisting arrest as he screamed profanities in Urdu.
Miami Harold satirist Dave Barry unwound the story when police couldn't. Long is also the owner of a Barge Company.
In March of 2009 Long's barge company accepted 3186 tons of garbage expecting a quick profit in Key West. Tug Boat captain Danny Duffy, at large, took the garbage barge on a 6900-mile nautical tour via Key West, FL, Belize, Mexico, Bahamas and finally Miami, FL where the entire barge was illegally lifted by a huge crane and placed in the Art warehouse.
Some of the missing art has surfaced in Miami area flea markets and thrift stores after being stolen by homeless people who squatted in the warehouse undetected by Customs or Police.
The rest of the art is still missing.