Blog Subscription via

January 10, 2023

A timeline of a convicted seller of Andy Warhol forgeries, who now faces an investigation into the disappearance of his wife

Brian R. Walshe came onto the art crime radar after pleading guilty to the sale of two fraudulent artworks which were purported to have been painted by American visual Pop artist Andy Warhol.  In 2023 his life got a whole lot more complicated. 

This is a timeline of the two Washe investigations.

Brian Walshe meets a Korean friend while attending Carnegie Melon University in Pittsburg, PA for a year.  He does not graduate but the two remain in touch, even after this friend graduates and returns to South Korea.

A later affidavits will claim that Walshe left university due to mental health issues, checking himself into the Austin Riggs Center, a psychiatric in-patient treatment facility. 

Beginning on/around approximately 2004 through 2011
Brian Walshe's Korean friend is now known to be collecting art.  This friend subsequently purchases:
two Andy Warhol Shadow paintings, 
an Andy Warhol silk screen print of a dollar sign on a handkerchief and two Keith Haring prints

Through an arrangement with Walshe, who tells his friend that he can sell his artworks at a profit, Brian's friend hands over the two Andy Warhol Shadow paintings, the Andy Warhol silk screen print of a dollar sign on a handkerchief, the two Keith Haring prints, and a Tang Dynasty porcelain statue so that Walshe can find buyers for the pieces.

3 May 2011
Brian Walshe attempts to consign an Andy Warhol artwork to Gagosian Gallery in New York City, who declines on the basis that Walshe did not have the bill of sale for the artwork.  

At this same time, Walshe is known to have still possessed the Andy Warhol silk screen print of a dollar sign on a handkerchief and the two Keith Haring prints, as well as possibly the Tang Dynasty porcelain statue.

21 September 2011 
Brian Walshe consigns an Andy Warhol silk screen print of a dollar sign on a handkerchief to Christies who sells the artwork at auction for $40,000 

2012 and later 
Brian Walshe is known to have visited his university friend in Korea on several occassions.  His last visit was in 2012 to attend his friend's wedding but to date, and despite his claim to be able to sell the art works handed over previously, no payments for the works have been forthcoming.   

When pressed for answers, Walshe eventually begins to avoid his friend's calls.
After several failed attempts at communication and attempts through two different  intermediaries, Walshe is forced to hand over the two Keith Haring prints and the Tang Dynasty porcelain statue when confronted at his home during an impromptu face to face meeting with an intermediary who is a friend to the Korean owner. 

The Andy Warhol Shadow paintings are not recovered at this time. 

March 2015 - July 2020 
According to Brian R. Walshe's Linkedin Page, he is now employed as an International Business Strategist for Ten Sail Consulting.   

21 December 2015
Brian Washe marries Ana Knipp, who maintains her maiden name.  The family go on to have three children. 

Early November 2016
Los Angeles gallery owner Ron Rivlin notices two Andy Warhol paintings for sale via the online auction site eBay via a seller with the user name:

The eBay listing, on Ana Knipp's seller account, sets the price for the paintings in the advertisement at $100,000 and reads as follows: 

"We are selling 2 Andy Warhol paintings from our private collection. We are parting with these pieces only because we need the money for renovations to our house. Our loss is your gain. Pieces bought from a former Martin Lawrence art dealer in California. We over paid terribly in 2007 for the art. Price paid $240,000. We have enclosed the Christie's estimates as of 2011 for the art as well.  Auction range $120,000 to $180,000. We are trying to sell on Ebay because it is much cheaper and because Christie's won't be able to auction our pieces till May 2017. The pieces are numbered and registered with the Warhol Foundation. Pieces are from 1979. Size 14 inches by 11 inches. Synthetic Polymer Paint and Silkscreen ink on canvas. Warhol Foundation # PA65.049 & PA65.032."

As part of the advertisement, the eBay seller included a picture of an invoice from Fleishman Fine Art for both of the Warhol Shadow paintings with Warhol Foundation numbers and a purchase price of $240,000. 

The eBay seller also included photographs of a label on the back of the painting from the Jablonka Gallery with the number PA65.049; and a photograph of a Christie's document listing the two paintings and two other works by Keith Haring.

The BillTo/Ship To: Name of the purchaser was a family member of Brian Walshe's friend in Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Korea.

Between 3 and 5 November 2016
California art dealer Ron Rivlin is interested in the two Andy Warhol "shadow" paintings and contacts the Walshe's using eBay's messaging service, inquiring about the work and requesting that "Ana" call him, providing the seller with his number. 

Rivlin speaks directly with Brian Walshe – the seller – between 3-5 November 2016 and works towards negotiating a purchase for the Warhol artworks for $80,000.  Walshe in turn negotiates to complete the sales transaction outside of eBay platform so that he can avoid the eBay seller fees. 

After an agreement is reached, Rivlin draws up a DocuSign contract on 3 November 2016 in which both parties sign-off agreeing that the purchaser has three days to terminate the contract and get a full refund if the buyer fails to accept the artwork.

7 November 2016
Ron Rivlin’s assistant flies to Boston to meet with Brian Walshe and to take possession of the two Andy Warhol "shadow" paintings.  

After taking a cursory look at the paintings and forwarding digital photos to Rovlin the buyer's agent takes possession of two artworks during a meeting at the Four Seasons Hotel in Boston and provides Walshe with a cashier’s check for $80,000. 

As the paintings are in frames, the backs of the paintings are not inspected on this date.  According to bank records, reviewed as part of the subsequent investigation into Walshe's activities, this cashier’s check was deposited on the same day into an account controlled solely by Walshe.  

Rivlin's assistant flew back to Los Angeles with the art works. 

Between 8 and 21 November 2016
Brian Walshe makes a series of withdrawals and payment transactions from the same bank account where he deposited Ron Rivlin's payment of $80,000.  In total he withdraws or makes payments for outstanding depts totalling $33,400 in the span of 13 days. 

8 November 2016 and later
Ron Rivlin’s assistant brings the two purchased paintings to the Rivlin for his inspection. In examining the two paintings, Rivlin removes the paintings’ frames and discovers that neither artwork has the Warhol Foundation authentication stamp on the back.  He also ascertains that both of the canvasses and the staples appear to be new. 

When Rivlin compares the paintings to the original photographs of the Andy Warhol "Shadows" from the eBay listing, he realises that the artworks delivered to him after his purchase do not appear to be those previously depicted in the photos for the sale on eBay.   He concludes that the two paintings he purchased and which were delivered to his assistant by Brian Walshe are not authentic.

Subsequent to this realisation, Rivlin repeatedly tries to contact Walshe, by telephone, text message and email, but initially receives no replies.  Rivlin then contacts Brian’s mother, whose name was on the title to Brian Walshe and Ana Knipp’s home, as well as Knipp's place of employment in Boston demanding that Brian return his calls or risk legal action. 

16 November 2016
According to the 2018 complaint charging Brian Walshe with wire fraud, Rivlin received a email reply from the Walshe on November 16, 2016 which makes excuses for the delay in refunding the California dealer's money.  Walshe claimed both that he didn’t have access to his phone  and that the time difference between Boston and L.A. made it difficult to call.  He promised Rivlin that he “would like to return your $80,000 ASAP.”
See transcript of the email from the court document here:
"Hello [redacted], Thank you for calling my wife. She said you were very kind and respectful, which is how I remembered you from our first interaction. I was going to call on Tuesday (election day) to ask about the 'shadows', but because of the time difference I was unable. I was in meetings and buildings all that day which did not allow me to have my phone. Once I saw your messages, things had already escalated to an uncomfortable level. Mr.  [redacted] is our family lawyer. He was trying to resolve the matter without unnecessary litigation. He was not going to represent me formally in any civil or criminal proceedings, but was hoping to satisfy you as a client. On Friday he did offer a full refund to your lawyer, but from your Saturday email it seemed it was too late to resolve this matter without a drawn-out court case. The information you explained to my wife is very troubling. If the photos I sent you are clearly different then the ‘Shadows' you have now, then that is a serious problem. However, regardless of the problems with the 'shadows', you have a right to a full refund according to our written agreement in section 9.3. I have no reason to believe that you would mis-represent any information. When I spoke to you last I had the impression that you were a fair and honest businessman. My wife has the same impression since your conversation yesterday. I was just surprised with how quickly things escalated. I am traveling this week, but I would like to return your $80,000 ASAP. Please send me your Bank of America information and I will send you the money. Once you receive your money please send me the 'shadows'. I need to investigate what happened on my side of this transaction. Once I have the ‘shadows' and can confirm your information, I will also refund the cost of sending [redacted] to Boston. I don't want you to suffer financially from this transaction. Especially, if the fault is on my side. Thank you again for reaching out to my wife. I will be in touch directly with you later this week. Best Brian".

22 - 28 November 2016
After continued excuses and delays, Brian Walshe has only made two partial payments totalling $30,000 to Ron Rivlin via Ten Sail Consulting LLC. 

8 December 2016
Ron Rivlin informs Brian Walshe that he has spoken with the FBI regarding the the lack of total refund for the purported Andy Warhol "Shadow" paintings. 

May 2018
Brian Walshe is arrested on a criminal complaint filed in the US District Court in Massachusetts following the FBI's investigation into his sale of two fake Andy Warhol paintings. 

Investigations by state and federal authorities allege that Walshe initially gained access to authentic Warhol paintings through a second victim, his Korean friend, who was known to have purchased Andy Warhol artworks.  Walshe had also been present with the aforementioned friend on one occasion when that individual purchased one work of art by Warhol.  Later, this same friend also purchased the two authentic Warhol Shadow paintings.

According to the criminal complaint, afterwards, while visiting the victim in South Korea, Walshe told his friend that he could sell some of this individual's art for a good price and an agreement was made to let Walshe take possession of the two Shadow paintings by Warhol and other fine art pieces.

After Walshe took the items however he became unreachable to the victim. 

The FBI investigators allege that Brian or his wife Ana Walshe subsequently used her eBay account to advertise the two Warhols.  

The Federal complaint did not charge Walshe's wife, but documents that she had a somewhat active roll in as much as it was her eBay user account and she fielded phone calls from Ron Rivlin.

September 2018
Brian Walshe's father,  Thomas Moorecroft Walshe III, dies at age 71 in India.  

At some point thereafter, the father's lawyer contacted the deceased man's son to inform him of the news, at which point, according to legal documents presented during the probate dispute, it is alleged Walshe asked for a key to the $710,000 beachfront property in Hull, Massachusetts, after the attorney went himself and took pictures of the original will – dated May 2016.

October 2018 
Brian Walshe is formally indicted by a federal grand jury on four charges in the paintings fraud case, including wire fraud, interstate transportation for a scheme to defraud, possession of converted goods and unlawful monetary transaction.

December 2018
Three months after his father’s death, Brian Walshe had himself appointed as personal representative of his father’s estate on the grounds his father had no will, a document filed by federal prosecutors in the Warhol theft case states.

By July 2019
Brian Walshe is involved in a legal dispute in Plymouth Probate and Family Court with family members regarding his father's estate in which family and friends allege that he has been estranged from his father for more than ten years and that after his father's death, arranged to destroyed at least one document, his deceased father's will, before wrongly took over management of his father’s estate, despite family members claiming that his father had left his son out of his 2016 will,  stating only his “best wishes but nothing else from my estate,” as per the words of his will.

Relatives allege Brain Walshe stole $100,000 from his father's bank account and stole/sold artwork and luxury items – including paintings by Salvador Dali and Joan Miro – as well as a car and attempted to sell the house in the period where his father's estate was being contested. 

A friend of the father Jeffrey Ornstein, stated in a 2019 affidavit that Walshe's father relayed to him that his only son had been a “long-term patient” at the Austin Riggs Psychiatric Center in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and had been diagnosed as a “sociopath.”

The dates of this hospitalisation and diagnosis have not been confirmed. However after the disappearance of his wife in 2023 varying news outlets report on this earlier hospitalisation.

November 2019 
In his own affidavit submitted to the Probate Court, Brian Walshe alleges that in the years prior to his father’s death, the two of them had reconciled, especially after the birth of his son in 2016.

He also claimed, somewhat ironically, given the charges he was facing, that the digital photo of his father's 2016 will “is a possible forgery” because his father's medical condition would have prevented him from writing it at the time it was dated. 

August 2020 - May 2021
According to Brian R. Walshe's LinkedIn Page, he is now employed as the Chief Financial Officer of Capital Letters Consulting. 

1 April 2021
Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Office announces that Brian Walshe has plead guilty on this date to three of the four counts in exchange for a recommended sentence from prosecutors of incarceration, supervised release and fines.  

He also agreed to either return the artworks or pay for them.

The counts Walshe plead guilty to are:
one count of wire fraud, 
one count of interstate transportation for a scheme to defraud, 
one count of possession of converted goods and an unlawful monetary transaction. 

He is subsequently scheduled for sentencing on 2 August 2021. 

May 2021 - Present
According to Brian R. Walshe's LinkedIn Page, he is employed as the CFO and Co-Founder of LETS: Leadership & Effective Teamwork Strategies.

March 2022
Ana Knipp is hired by a Washington, DC, real-estate firm Tishman Speyer.Her new role requires her to work in DC so she commutes back and forth while her husband (who remains on home confinement) and kids remain in Cohasset, Massachusetts.

June 2022
The 2 August 2022 date that U.S. Senior District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock was scheduled to sentence Brian Walshe in connection with his conviction is postponed.  US District Court Judge Douglas Warnock orders a hearing on Brian Walshe’s role in managing his father’s will and to allow time for the US Attorney’s Office to investigate Walshe’s current finances after Walshe failed to inform US Probation about two IRA's at Fidelity – one of which he contributed $91,000 – and left off a 2014 Fiat and 2015 Maserati, which his wife Ana drove.

In the interim, Walshe is placed on federal pre-sentencing probation with conditions which require home confinement with GPS monitoring.  Under these release conditions Walshe is required to request permission to exit his home via his supervising officer at the US Probation and Pretrial Services.  To do so he must specify precise times, locations, and necessity for being outside of the residence before authorisation can be granted. 

October 2022
Brian Walshe files an affidavit In probate court stating that he had prepared an inventory and is "in the process of organizing a full account of the estate and intend to file it with the court as soon as it is complete."

A pretrial conference in the probate case is subsequently scheduled for April 19, 2023.

27 December 2022
Having made plans to visit a friend near Washington, D.C., Ana Knipp (Walshe) texts her friend to say that she has to work late and will be delayed.  After two hours, Walshe responds to her friend stating that her phone died and she could not use GPS to get directions, so she returned home. 

The two friends reschedule their visit to Jan. 5, 2023.

28 December 2022
Ana Knipp (Walshe) texts a friend and tells her that she now has a new SIM card for her phone.

4 January 2023 and later
Ana Knipp (Walshe) is formally reported missing by her employer, real estate company Tishman Speyer after she fails to show up for work in Washington DC.   

The Walshe’s are known to now have a residence in the District, in addition to their Cohasset residence.

4 -5 January 2023
Shortly after Ana Knipp (Walshe) is reported missing, law enforcement question Brian Walshe regarding his wife's movements prior to her disappearance, and his movements after her disappearance. 

When interviewed by the police, Walshe claimed that his wife, who regularly commuted between Massachusetts and Washington, had been  heading out early on January 1, 2023, to take a flight into Washington, D.C.

According to the later-filed charging document, Brian Walshe told law enforcement investigators that he last saw his wife at their home in Cohasset early on January 1 when she had briefly woken him up to kiss him goodbye before she ordered a vehicle from a rideshare service to pick her up to bring her to Boston's Logan Airport.

Walshe also told officers that on the same day he had driven to the house of his mother in Swampscott, a 40-mile drive from Cohasset, but didn’t take his phone and “got lost,” making the trip take longer.  That same day he stated he visited Whole Foods and CVS in Swampscott to run errands for his mother. 

Knowing that his home confinement only allowed him out of the house during school drop-off and pick-up times to get his kids from school,  Walshe also informed law enforcement that on the morning of January 2nd, during the authorised morning release window for school drop off, he took one of the family's sons out for ice cream, on a day when school was closed. It is unclear where the other two children were at this time. 

5 January 2023
Cohasset police publicly announce that Ana Knipp (Walshe) is missing.  Police also do a preliminary search of the Walshe family home. 

6 January 2023
A fire breaks out and causes heavy damage to a resident located at 725 Jerusalem Road in Cohasset.  Ana Knipp (Walshe) bought this property for $800,000 in 2020 and sold it for $1.385 million in March 2022. 

Authorities later state that the fire was accidental and is not considered suspicious.

6-7 January 2023
Massachusetts State Police, trained in search and rescue, begin a comprehensive search for Ana Knipp (Walshe)'s whereabouts, canvassing the areas around her home in Cohasset, 20 miles southeast of Boston, utilising drones, dogs, and K-9 units.  

8 January 2023
Following up on the statements made during the interview, investigators find no record of Ana Knipp (Walshe) having taken an Uber or Lyft ride share or arriving at Logan Airport in Boston on January 1st as planned.  They also document that her cell phone pinged at the family's home address overnight on January 1st into the 2nd.

During the investigation, neither receipts, nor surveillance video, at Whole Foods or CVS corroborate Brian Walshe's reported visit to the two stores. Surveillance video footage does show, however, that Walshe visited a Home Depot Rockland on January 2 (a detail he withheld from officers).  There he bought $450 worth of cleaning supplies, including mops, a bucket and tarps.  During this trip he wore a surgical mask and gloves and paid in cash – visiting the store during his authorised time out of the house to pick up his kids from school in the afternoon, which was not open that day. 

As a result of the numerous discrepancies identified to the statements made by Brian Walshe, investigators request and obtain authorisation to further search the family home on January 8, 2023. 

In the home's basement, officers from crime scene services find both blood and a damaged, bloody knife.  They also find search queries on Brian Walshe’s internet records which include “how to dispose of a 115-pound woman’s body” and how to dismember a body. 

Brian Walshe is taken into custody and charged with misleading a police investigation. 

9 January 2023
Brian Walshe, is arraigned in Quincy District Court on a charge of misleading investigators who are searching for Ana Knipp (Walshe).  In reviewing the criminal affidavit Prosecutor Lynn Beland discussed the inconsistencies found in Brian Walshe's statements regarding his movements on the days of Sunday, January 1, 2023, and Monday, January 2, 2023.

A plea of not guilty is entered on Brian Walshe’s behalf by his counsel, Tracy Miner and with the Court ordering a $500,000 cash bail.  

Today, officers collected trash bags with blood, a hatchet, a hacksaw, a rug and used cleaning supplies, at a waste transfer facility in Peabody, about an hour from the family's home Cohasset home.  No information from police has been released as to if this evidence provides more information on what happened to 37 year old Knipp (Walshe).

Brian Walshe remains in custody after he fails to meet the $500,000 bail requirement set by the judge.  His next hearing is scheduled for February 9, 2023.  

The couple's three boys, ages 2, 4 and 6, are in state custody at the present time.