May 24, 2022

Thiago Lontra

Art News Collection

3 Emily Carr paintings among pieces seized in multimillion-dollar alleged fraud by Vancouver Island dealer

3 Emily Carr paintings among pieces seized in multimillion-dollar alleged fraud by Vancouver Island dealer

Extra than 1,000 pieces of fine artwork police say are collectively worth tens of tens of millions of dollars — which include a few valuable Emily Carr paintings — have been seized by law enforcement during an investigation into a nearby artwork dealer in Oak Bay, B.C.

On April 11, an individual contacted the Saanich Law enforcement Section to report they experienced entrusted a regional dealer with four items of great artwork for consignment and opportunity sale at an art gallery in Oak Bay, in accordance to a statement Thursday.

The pieces were 3 authentic paintings by Emily Carr and a watercolour painting by David Blackwood, both of those renowned Canadian artists. 

The proprietor grew to become suspicious when the gallery a short while ago shut and attempts to make contact with the artwork dealer experienced long gone unanswered.

“The vendor was getting artwork from folks with the intention of consigning or appraising the art, later ceasing all contact, all the while advertising the art without reimbursing the entrepreneurs or artists,” Const. Markus Anastasiades wrote in the statement.

Law enforcement before long discovered that there ended up several other victims that had consigned artwork to this seller, and that the dealer experienced ceased all communications with those people victims as nicely.

Over the next a number of days, police explained they carried out three look for warrants at storage sites in Saanich, Oak Bay and Langford.

Additional than a thousand art items observed

As the searches progressed, law enforcement mentioned detectives seized far more than 600 artwork pieces at the initial site.

The following turned up far more than 100 pieces, and at the ultimate web page, more than 300 items ended up uncovered, totalling more than 1,000 artworks with an approximated value in the tens of millions of dollars.

The artworks are now being stored at a protected location, law enforcement explained.

The art supplier, whose identity, law enforcement said, cannot be launched until finally charges are sworn in court docket, was arrested on April 21, and was later on unveiled on quite a few disorders with a long run court date.

The Saanich Police are recommending prison expenses versus the artwork supplier, who could be facing multiple counts of fraud and false pretence.

Law enforcement stated detectives are communicating with the house owners of the artworks, in an exertion to return all of the art to their rightful entrepreneurs.

Any individual with facts or who has handed above artwork to the dealer is requested to contact the Saanich Law enforcement by electronic mail at a[email protected]