LYNN, Mass. — Authorities on Tuesday released a pair of booking photos of Brian Walshe that were taken at the Lynn Police Department after federal agents raided his home back in May 2018.
Brian Walshe, the husband of missing Cohasset mother Ana Walshe, was arrested and charged in a criminal complaint in connection with stealing and attempting to sell two fake Andy Warhol paintings on eBay.
Walshe pleaded guilty to wire fraud and other federal charges involving those fake paintings. The deal involved no jail time, but he had to either return the stolen paintings or pay restitution for them. He has been on home confinement because of the conviction.
Walshe stole a number of Warhols and other pieces of art from a friend in South Korea, falsely offering to sell them for him. Once Walshe returned to the U.S., he stopped answering the friend. Walshe then sold one on eBay for $80,000 - but when the buyer, a California art gallery owner, received the painting - he knew it was fake.
The victim, in that case, was Ron Rivlin, the owner of Revolver Gallery in California, the largest Andy Warhol gallery worldwide.
In dealing with Brian at first, Rivlin said he was “charismatic, articulate, and professional,” and after he delivered fake paintings he was “unreachable” until Rivlin involved Ana and the FBI.
“He would only cooperate when he was forced to,” Rivlin said of Brian.
The art scam case is separate from the investigation into Ana’s disappearance, at which point Walshe has only been charged with misleading investigators.
Search crews have not yet been able to track down Ana’s whereabouts, but items linked to her disappearance were said to be found during a search of a transfer station in Peabody, including a hacksaw and rug believed to contain biological evidence, sources said.
Brian Walshe told police Ana was supposed to take a rideshare to Logan Airport on New Year’s Day to fly to Washington, D.C., where she owns a home. Police said there is no evidence Ana got into a rideshare or that she boarded any flights.
A Cohasset police log indicates that Ana’s employer, Tishman Speyer, contacted the police before Brian Walshe.
For all of Boston 25′s prior reporting on Ana Walshe’s case, click here.
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