8 arrested in many years-prolonged art fraud investigation

OPP officials allege: On March 1, 2023, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the Thunder Bay Police Service (TBPS) arrested eight folks for their involvement in the clear fraudulent production and distribution of artwork purported to be that of Indigenous artist Norval Morrisseau.

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Morrisseau – also identified as Copper Thunderbird – was a prolific Indigenous artist from the Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek 1st Nation. Right before his demise in 2007, allegations began to arise of individuals producing and offering artwork underneath his title and created in his exclusive Woodland University of Art design and style.

“Norval Morrisseau was a prominent artist of the Thunder Bay area and to financial gain off of his identify is not only unethical, but also illegal,” mentioned Main Dan Taddeo, Thunder Bay Police Service, in a press release.

“Together with the Ontario Provincial Police, I congratulate all involved for the thriving resolution of this sort of an essential investigation.”

Due to the fact 2020 and together with the TBPS, a major situation supervisor with the OPP Prison Investigation Branch has been major the investigation of the alleged generation, distribution and sale of fake artwork falsely attributed to the late Morrisseau.

As a final result of this two-and-a-50 %-12 months investigation, 8 individuals have been arrested and are dealing with 40 whole charges.

Far more than 1,000 alleged fraudulent paintings, prints and other artworks have been seized.

OPP Picture

“It was crucial for the OPP and the Thunder Bay Police Company to detect and hold accountable these who allegedly profited illegally by forging Norval Morrisseau’s artwork,” mentioned OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique, in a press launch.

“The success of this investigation are a testament to the commitment and competence of the investigators and the collaboration of policing associates.”

Some of these paintings sold for tens of 1000’s of pounds to unsuspecting users of the public who had no explanation to imagine they weren’t real.

The OPP is not in a posture to authenticate any artwork.

If you imagine you might be in possession of a suspected forgery or fraudulent operate of art, it is advisable that you search for legal assistance by making contact with a lawyer or the Regulation Society of Ontario, which operates the Legislation Modern society Referral Provider.

This company delivers a free 50 percent-hour consultation with a attorney.

For extra information, be sure to pay a visit to http://www.lso.ca.

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