Just a reminder of how clever fraud can be. Ronald Coles was an Australian art dealer who launched an art fund promising his clients huge returns. It was later discovered that Coles was also selling fakes to his clientele. He skipped town on his clients and the whole thing came crashing down. Eventually, Coles turned up driving a cab and trying to avoid the wrath of a motorcycle gang he’d taken money from. Now the Sydney Morning Herald A adds this information:
Fraud Squad detectives have written to 126 people caught up in the nation’s largest alleged art scam to advise them that a number of artworks could be virtually worthless. Mr Coles is being investigated after police received more than 150 complaints from collectors and investors from whom he had allegedly taken more than $23 million in paintings and cash and then disappeared. He is also accused of forging artworks.
It would appear that Coles came up with a novel way of running an art fund. He invested the fund’s money in forged works.
Art Ache for Owners as Fakes Identified (Sydney Morning Herald)