U.S. man arrested for cheating with art

16 September 2011

 A man was arrested today in Miami accused of selling stolen paintings to a gallery in Los Angeles and works of art forgeries, ensuring that they were pieces signed by renowned artists, today reported the U.S. Attorney.

Matthew Taylor, 43, who lives in Vero Beach (Florida), was arrested without incident this morning by special agents of the FBI, after last week a grand jury in Los Angeles is seven charges against him for engaging in a fraud during years as an art collector.

The indictment says Taylor cheated at least two million dollars by selling over one hundred works, including forgeries of artists like Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko.

Taylor, who could be sentenced to a total of one hundred years in prison, “paintings by unknown artists altered to look like products of famous artists and then sold at prices exponentially greater than its real value,” says the indictment.

Add that to conceal the true nature of the paintings, created and put false labels on the boxes indicating that the artworks had been part of prestigious collections of art in famous museums including the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

As for the art thefts attributed to him, the indictment says Taylor stole a painting by Granville Redmond called “Marina in the twilight” of a gallery in Los Angeles.

“Taylor later sold the painting in a gallery differently by $ 85,000, falsely claiming that his mother had for several years,” said the prosecutor.

The indictment also alleges that Taylor stole the same place Frank Lucien painting entitled “Scene in the Park, Paris”, which “was seen several years later in a gallery in Vero Beach.”