In 2008, the FBI New Orleans Field Office, Alexandria Resident Agency, and the U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Louisiana, initiated an art fraud investigation involving hundreds of art forgeries created in the likeness of authentic pieces by prolific Louisiana folk artist Clementine Hunter. Three subjects, including the forger William J. Toye of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, his wife, and New Orleans art and antiques dealer Robert Lucky, were ultimately indicted for multiple federal charges and were successfully prosecuted for their crimes. The investigation identified numerous victims around the U.S. along with a total loss amount of nearly $1 million. The investigation was conducted by FBI Special Agent and Art Crime Team member Randolph J. "Randy" Deaton IV.
Special Agent Randolph “Randy” J. Deaton IV has been employed with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) since November 1998. He is a member of the FBI's National Art Crime Team and is the Senior Resident Agent of the FBI New Orleans Field Office's Alexandria Resident Agency in Alexandria, Louisiana. His other field assignments have included the FBI's New York Office and FBI Headquarters in Washington D.C.
Over his career, Special Agent Deaton has conducted numerous successful investigations involving white collar crime, fraud, public corruption, property crime, violent crime, and national security matters. Special Agent Deaton's collateral duties with the FBI have included Airport Liaison Agent, Military Liaison Agent, Adjunct Faculty Program member, firearms instructor, certified police instructor, Special Agent Assessor, and certified interview and interrogation instructor of local law enforcement.
In 2016, Special Agent Deaton received the honor of being selected as a member of the FBI's Art Crime Team. As an Art Crime Team member, he conducts investigations related to art, antiques, antiquities, and other cultural property. From August 2021 to February 2023, Special Agent Deaton was the Program Manager and Supervisory Special Agent of the FBI's Art Crime Program and Art Crime Team. He also served as the FBI's official representative to the U.S. Department of State's Cultural Heritage Coordinating Committee and Cultural Antiquities Task Force and participated in other U.S. interagency working groups involving the investigation and preservation of cultural heritage.
Special Agent Deaton is a 1993 graduate of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and possesses a Bachelor of Science degree in Quantitative Business Analysis/Computer Science. Prior to the FBI, Special Agent Deaton was employed for several years as a Computer Programmer and Analyst for a large insurance company.