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White collar crimes: What constitutes art forgery?

| May 4, 2020 | White Collar Crimes |

Being accused of involvement in art forgery is a serious matter for anyone in Michigan or elsewhere. Although art forgery is known to be a lucrative business, not every person who has fake art pieces is involved in art forgery. This form of white collar crimes comes in three types.

As with most other criminal charges, intent to commit the crime charged must be proved. Creating fake art, changing an existing art piece in an attempt to increase the value, and selling a fake art piece as original art can all lead to art forgery charges. If there is no proof of intent to commit larceny or fraud, or to deceive another party, forgery charges will not likely stand.

If a person replicates a famous, valuable art piece as a decorative object to hang in his or her home with no intent to sell it as an original piece, no crime was committed. However, if an attempt is made to sell this piece as an original, forgery charges could follow, even if no sale resulted. A related crime could occur when a forged document of proof that the art piece is original is presented during such a transaction.

Even with such documents there are exceptions. Just like the art piece, if the person who possesses the document of authenticity is unaware of it being a forged document at the time when it is presented during a sale of the piece, he or she might not be criminally liable. Anyone in Michigan who faces allegations of art forgery has every right to seek legal counsel at the first opportunity, even before formal charges are filed. An attorney with extensive experience in defending those who face white collar crimes charges can advocate for the client throughout the ensuing legal proceedings.