Husband of missing Massachusetts mom-of-three, 39, who ‘vanished’ at 4am on New Year’s Day is art swindler who stole two Andy Warhol paintings from his friends, as huge fire breaks out at couple’s old mansion
Brian Walshe, the husband of Ana Walshe, 39, who disappeared on New Year’s Day after failing to catch a work flight to Washington D.C. is a convicted art swindler
The husband of Ana Walshe, 39, who disappeared on New Year’s Day after failing to catch a work flight to Washington D.C. is a convicted art swindler.
Brian Walshe, 48, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Boston in 2021 after being arrested a few years earlier for selling two fake Andy Warhol paintings to a South Korean buyer for $80,000, federal prosecutors say.
WATCH: The husband of missing Cohasset woman Ana Walshe, Brian Walshe, is seen smiling as he is transported by police from jail to a Quincy courtroom. He will be arraigned today after his arrest for allegedly misleading police.
Walshe took the paintings from a friend and sold them on eBay, only to switch them out for fakes.
Cohasset Police Chief William Quigley said in the press conference on Friday that the case appears to be completely unrelated to Walshe’s disappearance who has not been seen since January 1.
Meanwhile, a huge fire broke out at the Walshe’s former family home, a $1.4million mansion in Cohasset.
Ana Walshe also lived at the residence until just a few months ago. Police say that it is too soon to know whether the fire is connected to her sudden disappearance.
The fire started in the attic of the home. Three adults and one child who were all living in the home at the time of the blaze managed to make it out unharmed.
‘It’s a very strange coincidence, but we have the fire marshal’s office and our detectives will be assigned here to investigate this fire,’ Quigley said. ‘We’ll get to the bottom of things.’
A huge fire broke out at the Walshes’ former family home, a $1.4million mansion in Cohasset
The Walshe family lived in the home until comparatively recently. It is not known yet if there is any connection between Ana’s disappearance and the blaze
Police say that it is too soon to know whether the fire is connected to her disappearance
Ana Walshe also lived at the residence until just a few months ago. Pictured, investigators from the state police and fire department were on the scene of the fire
Brian Walshe (right), pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Boston in 2021 after being arrested a few years earlier for selling two fake Andy Warhol paintings to a South Korean buyer for $80,000
In Walshe’s criminal case, it was November 2016 when an eBay user – Ron Rivlin, the owner of Revolver Gallery in Los Angeles – found Walshe selling two Andy Warhol paintings for $100,000 each, reported the Boston Herald.
Rivlin claims that his gallery is the the world’s largest gallery-owned Andy Warhol collection.
The paintings Rivlin saw on eBay were from Warhol’s Shadows series, abstract paintings the pop artist created in 1978.
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On the listing, Walshe also included a photo of an invoice from the Warhol Foundation, where he claimed he bought the paintings, and which allegedly showed he paid $240,000 for them.
Walshe allegedly told Rivlin he was selling the works at a great loss in order to pay for home renovations, reported the Herald.
Rivlin believed they were authentic and contacted Walshe in early November, arranging to purchase both paintings outside of eBay for $80,000.
In November 2016, Walshe put the paintings up on eBay for $100,000 each, after which art gallery owner Ron Rivlin agreed to buy them for $80,000. Picutred; Rivlin at his Andy Warhol gallery
Walshe got the paintings from his friend, who had recently bought them, and convinced him he could sell them for a good price – but then he disappeared and his friend never received any money in return for them. Pictured: One of the fame Warhol paintings
The pair signed a contract, which explicitly stated that Rivlin had three days to get a full refund, according to the Massachusetts DA’s office.
On November 7, Rivlin’s assistant flew to Boston to collect the paintings and gave Walshe an $80,000 cashier’s check, which was deposited that day.
The next day, Rivlin unwrapped the paintings and found there were no authentication stamps on the back from the Warhol Foundation and that the canvasses looked new.
Next, he compared the paintings to the photographs on eBay and determined they were different.
After concluding the paintings in his possession were inauthentic, he made repeated attempts to contact Walshe.
The Herald reported that phone records show Rivlin called and texted Walshe from November 8 to 12, all of which went unanswered.
According to the DA’s office, when Walshe did reply, he made several excuses for not refunding the money immediately.
After Walshe refunded Rivlin just $30,000 of the $80,000, the gallery owner said he had he had contacted the FBI.
Court documents show there have been various issues surrounding Brian Walshe’s sentencing, which initially was scheduled for home confinement and it is not clear what the current status of the case is.
After buying the paintings, Rivlin realized the artworks he purchased were fakes, When Walshe wouldn’t return all the money, Rivlin called the FBI. Pictured: One of the fake Andy Warhol paintings
In the search for Ana Walshe, state police have suspended the hours-long search for a missing Cohasset mother of three who was last seen on New Year’s Day.
Police said they will continue the search on Saturday after covering just under one square mile on Friday afternoon into the evening.
Cops launched the desperate search after Walshe failed to catch a work flight to Washington DC.
She was last seen at about 4am at her home just over 40 minutes’ drive from Boston.
Police have already used K-9s to search the grounds of the family’s home in the 500 block of Chief Justice Cushing Highway and adjacent properties and have no extended the search to wooded areas a short distance from the home.
Police described Walshe as a woman with brown hair, brown eyes, five feet and two inches tall and weighing about 115 pounds and said she’s left no digital footprint since she went missing.
The desperate search continues for a 39-year-old Massachusetts mother-of-three who vanished after on New Year’s Day and failed to catch her work flight to Washington D.C
Police have urged anyone with information to come forward and said her husband, Brian Walshe, has been cooperative in the investigation and they have nothing to support anything ‘suspicious or criminal’ at this time.
Walshe was known to travel to Washington D.C. weekly for work and had booked a flight for January 3, not January 1, but authorities have presumed she was hoping to get an earlier flight before she went missing.
Leaving her home at about 4am on New Year’s Day Walshe caught a rideshare bound for Logan International Airport in Boston before her flight to D.C. to work her job at a real estate company.
Chief Quigley said Walshe never got on that plane and search for the missing 39-year-old have turned up no signs of her.
‘At this point it’s a missing person investigation,’ Quigley said.
‘We’re just trying to locate Ana and get her home safely. We have nothing to support anything suspicious or criminal.’
Friends of Walshe said that she is a wife and mother to three young boys – her social media platforms reflecting the life of a happy family
Walshe was known to travel to Washington D.C. weekly for work and had booked a flight for January 3, not January 1, but cops say she may have been hoping to get an earlier flight
Brian Walshe, who said he was asleep at the time his wife walked out the door early Sunday, has been cooperating with investigators, he added.
‘It’s not normal she is missing. We automatically feel she is in danger by the mere fact she is missing, other than that there is no evidence to support anything illegal,’ Quigley said.
Walshe is reported to have left no digital footprint since leaving her home, and her phone has been shut off since around New Year’s Day.
Police searches of her homes in Cohasset with a K-9 unit and in Washington, D.C. took place after she went missing with no sign of her
Police in Cohasset have also been coordinating with authorities in Washington D.C., who searched and found no trace of Walshe at her property there
‘[Her] cell phone has been off since the first of the year,’ Quigley said, adding that none of her credit or debit cards have been active since the first of the year.
Police described Walshe as a woman with brown hair, brown eyes, five feet and two inches tall and weighing about 115 pounds and said she’s left no digital footprint since she went missing
Friends also said Walshe’s normally active social media presence went silent on Sunday, WCVB reports.
Police in Cohasset have been coordinating with authorities in Washington D.C., who searched and found no trace of Walshe at her property there.
‘The focus right now is trying to locate her,’ Chief Quigley said.
‘Whether she just needed a little break or time out. If that’s the case we’re just looking for her to call, all it takes is a phone call to let us know she’s okay.’
A new search emanating from the parking lot of a nearby Stop and Shop store at 400 Chief Justice Cushing Highway was launched Friday afternoon.
One that involved State Police and regional police units trained in search and rescue efforts, officials said.
Walshe is normally active on social media, according to friends, and often posts pictures of what appears to be her happy family life
Friends told NBC Boston that she is a wife and mother to three young boys – her social media platforms reflecting the life of a happy family.
‘Ana is a remarkable woman,’ her friend Peter Kirby said.
‘She’s a powerful executive, she’s a loving mom, she’s just loving wife, she’s one of the most remarkable humans we know, and we’ve very scared.
‘We miss her a lot and we’re just praying for her to be safe.’
‘Everyone that knows and loves Ana, we just want her home safely,’ Evan Turell, a friend of Walshe’s who used to work with her at a hotel in Boston, told Fox News.
‘Her husband and her boys were someone she talked to every single day and the fact that she hasn’t been in touch with them is concerning and it’s not like her to not be in touch with anyone. It’s just really scary.’