Richard Pearson from Sunderland Caught Selling £50k Worth of Fake Paintings

Art market has always been under threats and intimidation while scammers fill their pocket with money. I am sure, the people trading in these paintings, take care of all these issues.

However, still there are loop holes that let the con artists accomplish their goals. One recent theft related to the paintings of Norman Cornish shocked everyone. Richard Pearson from Sunderland tried to destabilising the art market by passing off 14 drawings and pictures created by the famous “pitman painter” Norman Cornish.

Art has its significance in representing a country’s culture and accomplishments. The one ruining the sanctity of the work by famous painters and artists should never be left open. And I am sure the authorities are working hard to confine these goons from making their attempts successful.

Richard Pearson attempted to sell fake paintings of Norman Cornish worth £50,000. He was caught after he forged a receipt using decimal currency instead of using pounds, shillings and pence from the 1960s.

The clue was enough to find out the duplicity and the art gallery did not leave any sign go unwitnessed. According to the Newcastle Crown Court, Richard Pearson targeted an art gallery in Corbridge, Northumberland. He claimed that he had access to the paintings of artist, Norman Cornish who died in 2014.

Norman Cornish, a former miner who became one of the most respected contemporary artists in the country Credit: NORTH NEWS

However, Richard missed the deal and got himself in trouble by making a silly mistake. On the receipt, he used decimalization prices he claimed was from the 1960s which was not possible as the decimalization started way after 1960s.

The plan that could have made him £50,000 went for a toss. Apart from that, he also used the telephone number that was not different from the one used in 1960s and was too long.

Because of his scam, 4 paintings were sold before the fraud was discovered. Hence, the gallery will have to refund the amount to the customers.

Richard was pleaded guilty and was blamed for 9 charges. Among the charges, two were of forgery and two were of using a false instrument with intent. All this happened between December 2011 and February 2014.

Judge Edward Bindloss sentenced him for three years and seven months and clarified that, “They were fakes but they were convincing fakes, with a fake signature on the corner.”

The court also added that his act has created havoc in the entire art market and has also affected the confidence of people. But at the same time reassured that the conviction will help restore the chaos.

Norman Cornish
Pearson left the international art market unstable by flooding it with work which he pretended had been produced by Cornish Credit:NCJMedia Ltd

The decision was taken to warn others who had or who are willing to fool the art industry. Taking an easy option will not have the same effect. That is the reason, when Paul Currer who was defending Pearson asked for an apology and wanted Pearson to pay back the money through a fleet of cars he gained from an inheritance, the court denied.

Prosecutors told that they would use the Proceeds of Crime Act to convalesce the money Richard owed.

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