Art Fraud Abounds--Buyer Beware

I've recently read that high-profile celebrity collectors Steve Martin, Robert De Niro, and Steven Spielberg have been victims of art fraud. These are serious collectors of art that do their due diligence, yet have still been "had" by sophisticated art fraud schemes.

A colleague of mine, Robert Wittman, founder of the FBI Art Crime Team, has likened it to the wild, wild west; the art world is unregulated and art fraud runs rampant. During his 20-year FBI career, Wittman has rescued stolen Rembrandts, Rodins, and Rockwells, and investigated several major art scams - most notable, the Antiques Roadshow television scandal hatched by con artist Russell Pritchard III.

Wittman recounts the full Antiques Roadshow case in a chapter of his New York Times best-selling memoir Priceless, which came out in paperback this week. For more information, read the full post at the Caroline Ashleigh Auction blog.

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