LYNN, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — A Lynn man pleaded guilty on Friday to federal charges of trying to sell two fake Andy Warhol paintings on eBay.
According to Acting U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Nathaniel R. Mendell, Bryan Walshe, 46, attempted to sell the fake paintings in early November of 2016. The paintings were two of Warhol’s “Shadows,” a series of untitled, abstract canvas paintings from 1978.
"The buyer believed the paintings were authentic and [made a deal with Walshe] to purchase the artwork outside of eBay for $80,000," a DOJ statement read. "The buyer [later] concluded that the paintings he purchased from Walshe were not authentic. The buyer then repeatedly attempted to contact Walshe, who initially did not respond, and then made excuses for the delay in refunding the buyer’s money."
The department said Walshe initially gained access to the real Warhol paintings through a friend, whom he told that he could sell the art "for a good price." After the victim agreed to let Walshe take the items, they did not hear from him and were unable to contact him.
He then proceeded to offer the authentic paintings on eBay only to send fake copies to the buyer. Walshe also reportedly attempted to consign the paintings to a gallery in New York City but was denied because he did not have a bill of sale.
Walshe pleaded guilty to the charges of wire fraud, interstate transportation for a scheme to defraud, possession of converted goods and unlawful monetary transaction. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 2, 2021.
Written by Rachel Armany
(Photo: Getty Images)