The British regional press has this fascinating story of an art fraud–in this case a painting passed off as a genuine LS Lowry–that uncovered either a mean-spirited man of great wealth stooping to fraud or an unbelievable industrious art cheat. Lord Maurice Taylor went to jail for three years in March on six charges of fraud. Since then, the police have uncovered a great deal more:
The 61-year-old, who lives near Congleton, had bought a Lowry-style painting for £7,500 from art dealer Martin Heaps in 2004. But he then invented its history to boost its provenance before selling it to art dealer David Smith in September 2007 for £330,000. Mr Smith had paid £230,000 towards the total when he discovered the painting was not an original and has not had the cash back.
Following the trial at Chester Crown Court in February, Cheshire Police started inquiries into Taylor’s lifestyle under the Proceeds of Crime Act. They estimate that Taylor’s assets amount to almost £28 million.
Art Fraud Could Cost Lord £28m (This Is Staffordshire)