Lawrence Salander isn’t the only dealer who gained his clients trust, offered to sell their work and then never delivered the money. Here’s one in the UK–working on a much smaller scale–who ran the same scam for nine years from 1999-2008:
Andrew Parkinson, 49, used his gallery to broker sales of original works by artists including Damien Hirst, Rolf Harris and Jack Vettriano. But in many cases he would take prints or paintings from customers on the pretence of arranging their sale – but fail to sell or return them. He would also sell the same piece of artwork to several clients but fail to deliver it to any of them.
Yesterday, he pleaded guilty to 23 counts of theft, one count of participating in fraudulent business carried out by a sole trader, and one count of fraud at Taunton Crown Court in Somerset. Parkinson, who now lives in Norwich, Norfolk, also pleaded guilty to eight counts of obtaining property by deception relating to times he took money from clients for artworks he never intended to deliver. The court heard the charges relate to £250,000 worth of fraud – but victims estimate his total deceit could run to £1million.
Dealer Admits £250,000 Fraud (This Is Somerset)