Brian Walshe — the Cohasset, Massachusetts, man charged in the murder of his wife, Ana — had a hearing in federal court on Tuesday in an art fraud case that predates the January killing of the 39-year-old mom.
Walshe has been charged with first-degree murder as well as misleading a police investigation/obstruction of justice and improper conveyance of a human body. He is accused of killing his wife, dismembering her and disposing of her body. He has pleaded not guilty and was ordered held without bail.
Before that, he was embroiled in an art fraud case in which he pleaded guilty to wire fraud and other federal charges involving phony Andy Warhol paintings. Walshe took photos of a friend's authentic Andy Warhol paintings and used the photos to sell replicas on eBay, according to court documents.
Walshe waived his presence at Tuesday's hearing, which was a status conference.
The case started in 2016 when a buyer saw two Andy Warhol paintings for sale on eBay. The listing, according to prosecutors, included photographs of authentication stamps. The buyer arranged to buy those paintings, part of the "Shadows" series, for $80,000. However, after having an assistant pick the paintings up, the buyer discovered there were no authentication stamps and that the canvas looked new. This ultimately led to an FBI investigation.
Brian Walshe had gained access to the paintings by telling a friend, who was the lawful owner of the paintings, that he could help sell them for a good price, the court documents state. However, that friend told investigators that after Brian Walshe took the art, he was unable to contact him. The art in question was valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Brian Walshe was arrested in that investigation in 2018. He would ultimately plead guilty to one count each of wire fraud, interstate transportation for a scheme to defraud, possession of converted goods and unlawful monetary transaction.
The next status conference in the case was scheduled for Oct. 5 at 2 p.m.