Massachusetts Man Sentenced to Prison for Selling Fake Andy Warhol Paintings

A Massachusetts man, Brian Walshe, has been sentenced to over three years in prison for his involvement in an art fraud case related to the sale of two counterfeit Andy Warhol paintings. Walshe, who is also facing charges of first-degree murder in the death of his wife, Ana Walshe, was handed a 37-month sentence and ordered to pay $475,000 in restitution.

The art fraud case came to light in 2016 when a buyer discovered an advertisement for the two paintings on eBay. The paintings were claimed to be part of Warhol’s renowned “Shadows” series from 1978. After paying Walshe $80,000 for the artworks, the buyer realized that they lacked the promised Warhol Foundation authentication stamps. Further examination revealed that the canvas and staples appeared new, and the paintings did not match the ones depicted in the eBay ad. Consequently, the buyer attempted to recover the funds but was unsuccessful.

Prosecutors revealed that Walshe’s scheme began in 2011 when he sold the original Warhol paintings to a gallery. In 2015, he acquired replicas of the artworks and sold them to a buyer in France. Subsequently, Walshe attempted to sell the two fake abstract paintings on eBay.

Walshe’s lawyer had requested time served, but the request was denied. The lawyer did not provide any comment on the matter. Walshe still awaits a potential trial in the murder case, where he stands accused of killing Ana Walshe, dismembering her body, and disposing of it. As a result, the couple’s three children have been placed in state custody.

Ana Walshe, originally from Serbia, split her time between Washington, DC, where she worked for an international property management company, and the family home in Cohasset, an affluent coastal community located approximately 15 miles southeast of Boston.

During the investigation, prosecutors uncovered disturbing evidence. Starting from January 1, 2021, and for several days after, Brian Walshe conducted multiple online searches related to dismemberment and the best ways to dispose of a body. Surveillance footage from January 3 showed a man resembling Walshe disposing of what appeared to be heavy trash bags in an Abington apartment complex dumpster, not far from Cohasset.

Prosecutors also revealed that Ana Walshe had taken out a $2.7 million life insurance policy, naming her husband as the sole beneficiary. However, Walshe’s financial situation did not indicate a need for money, as his wealthy mother had reportedly provided substantial financial support to the couple.

CrimeDoor
Author: CrimeDoor

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