Art and Antique Fraud

At Cartwright King, we can defend allegations and prosecutions for Art and Antique Fraud.  If you are facing such allegations, it is in your best interests to get in touch with a solicitor at your earliest convenience and we will deal with your case from the onset. Our team have extensive experience in successfully defending individuals accused of Fraud and can represent you wherever you are based. 

Free Initial Telephone Consultation

Our highly skilled Criminal Defence team are here to take the worry off your hands. We can provide an initial telephone consultation to see how we can assist in your case. For more information, please call Anthony Harris on 0808 168 5550 or email

What is Art and Antique Fraud?

Art and Antique fraud put simply is the committing of fraudulent acts involving valuable items such as pieces of art and those that are considered to be antique. Given the broad area that fraud can cover, opportunities can arise through the sale, purchase, theft and forgery of items that are deemed as art or antique. Quite often people cause a fraudulent offence mainly because they are unaware of the true value of the goods they own. Art and antique fraud can therefore be committed in the following ways:

Theft and/or handling of stolen goods – This is the stealing of somebody else’s goods and ‘permanently depriving’ them of their rightful owner. Most commonly, these items are then sold on to a third party.

Forgery – The main act of fraud is to value something of much more value than they actually are e.g. forging documentation to prove that an item is legitimate, when it is actually a fake.

Money Laundering – This is laundering through the purchase of high value art and antiques in an attempt to convert illegal assets.

Unlawful Auctions – There are several ways in which fraudulent activity can be committed within an auction. One way is to use a ‘plant’ who is working with the auctioneer to place high bids in the early proceedings to drive up the price or wins the auction to stop the sale from concluding at a low price. 

Alternatively, dealers can agree not to bid on a respective item but instead send somebody else to attend and win the auction. As the dealers have not bid against each other, they therefore pay a lower sale price. Quite often, these dealers then hold their own private auctions to decide who gets the item, which is most likely to be at a lower price than at the original auction. 

If you have been accused of any involvement in the above activities then Trading Standards and the police could get involved, potentially resulting in a fraud prosecution.

Your defence

Although the law surrounding fraud is very complex, in order to be found guilty you must have to have demonstrated traits including:

  • Consciously acting in a dishonest manner
  • The items that you are dealing with must be known to be false
  • You have consciously acted fraudulently where your gain results in somebody else’s loss
  • A representation or statement must be produced, which can either be written or spoken

Our team have extensive experience in defending individuals and businesses accused of fraud. To discuss the circumstances in your case please phone out fraud defence  team.

Why Choose Us?

At Cartwright King, our solicitors understand the stress and worry being accused of art and antique fraud can cause and the potential long term consequences that can affect you, your family and potentially your business. We are available to support you throughout the entire process, explain the likely outcomes and fight on your behalf.

How to make contact

If you require any legal advice or if you would like a no obligation, free initial telephone discussion, then please call us on 0808 168 5550 and ask to speak to Anthony Harris. Alternatively you can email the Fraud Defence team on and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Our Fraud Defence Solicitors can provide advice across the country and are happy to meet at a time and location that suits you. We also have a network of offices in BirminghamBedfordBoltonDerbyLeedsLeicesterLondon TempleLondon Fleet StreetLutonManchesterMiddlesbroughMilton KeynesNewcastleNorthamptonNottinghamOxfordSheffield and Worcester.

For further information please get in touch with our dedicated team.

You can always call us on 0808 168 5550 or email


Let us know how we can help. Just provide a brief outline of your query.

Submit form
Read more
The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law Firms