Brent Farris: St. Louis Fugitive Eluded Capture Like "Catch Me If You Can"

brent farris.jpg
U.S. Marshal's Service via Houston Chronicle
Brent Farris traveled under the alias Michael Royston.
Leonardo DiCaprio's character in Catch Me if You Can has nothing on 49-year-old Brent Farris.

Farris, the former owner of Farris Gallery in St. Louis, was sentenced today to fourteen months in prison after leading U.S. Marshals on a six-year goose chase across 14 countries and three continents.

The story begins in 2004, when Farris was sentenced to serve twenty months in prison and ordered to pay $300,000 in restitution on charges that he illegally transferred ownership and sold an oil painting in violation of his bankruptcy.

Authorities released Farris on bond before he was to be admitted to prison, and that's when he took off. U.S. Marshals would eventually track Farris across fourteen different countries on three continents, with Farris gaining a false British passport to aid his flight. Farris used the passport to live and work in China, and to attempt to travel throughout Asia and Europe undetected.

Based on information provided by the U.S. Marshals, Italian authorities arrested and detained Farris in Rome, Italy, in 2009. He was confined in an Italian prison for a period of time, then released to house arrest while the United States sought extradition. Farris absconded from Italy while awaiting extradition.

He was finally apprehended and detained in 2010 in Guadalajara, Mexico, by Mexican Immigration Officials acting on information obtained from U.S. law enforcement, and deported back to the United States where he was met and placed into custody by the U.S. Marshals. He was charged with failure to appear, for which he was sentenced today.

The new sentence will be served consecutive to the original sentence, which he is now serving.

Last August, the Houston Chronicle wrote a fascinating and detailed account of Farris' flight in which he assumed the identity as "Michael Royston" and secured a gig as an executive with an international firm. Farris was detained in Houston following his capture in Mexico.

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4 comments
dynamicdave2013
dynamicdave2013

Justin, I knew your Dad while he lived in Jackson. Pls call me next week at 601-941-6955.

justin s. farris
justin s. farris

My name is Justin farris. you have just heard from my sister,kym. we are his two children. I am not here to swear to his innocense; howeverto know the full truth as I do would certainly lead to larger concerns of the politically motivated neutralization of my father's previous work which finally almost resulted in exposing long overlooked wrongdoings (to put it lightly; there may be children reading this)fraud and gross widespread appauling malpractice from out of the cash cow known as baptist hospital from which many now voiceless victims of the state of mississippi needlessly fell victims to. Despite many verbal and physical threats, Brent, my father continued determined to see it through when wouldn't ya know it? The FBI decides to give him what they call in the movies as a shakedown. Being unable to provide proper tax documentation, he was successfully stopped before the scandals were able to be traced with physical proof to the hospital's founders. George bush sr as well as trent lott (u might have heard of their careers)I suppose u can decide for yourself as to the moral flexibility of a stranger all u want but for me I know the truth that you wont hear or see in print. To be honest nothing really needs to be said about my father to convince anyone of his humanity. He is the bravest person I know. The only person that I know that can turn a fractional moment in time into a monumental opportunity for greatness 100% of the time. The people who actually know him know what kind of man he is. Let thee who is without sin cast the first stone. Yes he is brilliant. Yes he made the u s marshalls look like foolish children. Briefly stated: one in a million I am proud to be his son. Looking forward to being together again. I love you dad

Kym_farris
Kym_farris

Hi there...this is actualy my father. I think it is ridiculous all the money and time wasted on him. There are to many murders,rape,ect.going on that need atention!

justin farris
justin farris

LOL u s Marshall's came to my mother's house probably back in 2006 to question me. When they asked me if I could give them any information of his whereabouts. LOL all I could think about was that scene in the Harrison Ford movie fugitive where they asked Harrison's colleague and friend the same. You'll never catch him I said he s. Too clever for you LOL if he hadn't turned himself in they would still be looking for him I guess to them his trail was more faint than a two day old fart LOL but I'm glad he finally came to his senses

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