Feds Arrest Matthew Taylor for Selling Forged Paintings of Monet, van Gogh and Rothko
Theses are some of the greatest artists in history and have produced some of the world's most expensive paintings.
And according to the FBI, 43-year-old Matthew Taylor has forged them all and taken millions from unsuspecting art collectors.
Last week, a Los Angeles grand jury indicted Taylor, a former art dealer, on seven felony counts related to fraud and theft. He was arrested today in Florida near his home in Vero Beach.
Taylor is accused of forging more than 100 paintings, including the works of Monet, Pollack, van Gogh and Rothko, and selling them for more than $2 million to a collector. Taylor supposedly took the works of unknown artists and doctored them to make them look like masterpieces.
As part his ruse, says the U.S. Attorney's Office, Taylor forged the signatures of the famous painters and concealed the original signatures of the unknown artists. Taylor also is accused of creating and putting fake labels on the paintings to make it look as though the artwork had been part of collections housed at prestigious museums such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and the Guggenheim.
But forgery was not the only way Taylor was able to turn a buck, say prosecutors. There was also the stealing.
Taylor is charged with taking a Granville Redmond painting called "Seascape at Twilight" from an LA museum and then selling it to a gallery for $85,000.
If Taylor is convicted on all seven charges, he could be looking at 100 years in the can.