Ronald Coles the 64 year old Australian influential art dealer and gallery owner has been arrested and charged with 87 counts of theft and fraud offences. Coles was seen as a model of success, a jet setter driving a Bentley with license plates “BUY ART”, is alleged to have defrauded 43 clients of their superannuation savings. Under Australian Superannuation Laws, clients are not permitted to retain their art purchases in their homes, instead leaving them with Coles for storage. Coles allegedly in turn on-sold the art works. The Gallery went into bankruptcy in 2009 and Coles disappeared into hiding. Police seized over 400 works from various properties and discovered many were fakes, allegedly painted by Coles. Coles was discovered after his disappearance working as a taxi cab driver, and is in custody pending the posting of his $AU100,000 bail. Coles offering little remorse claims that he is the victim in the scam that potentially places the Australian art industry in disrespect with potential investors.


Inspired by Jeremy Eccles image source Brock Perks