Friday, October 24, 2008

"They provided collectors with invented, written biographies of nonexistent artists, complete with signatures"

Derek Fincham points to this story of a mother-and-son team of art dealers in New Orleans whose scam was to "buy inexpensive Chinese paintings from wholesale distributors and then market and sell them, at a large profit, as works created by [fictional] Louisiana artists." They've each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and face fines of $250,000 and up to five years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for January.

Derek draws a familiar lesson: "Do not buy art as a tourist, if you are spending more than a thousand dollars, make sure you educate yourself about the dealer and the artist."