The forgery trial in Cologne ended yesterday with the sentencing of Wolfgang Beltracchi and his co-defendants for their now-infamous forgeries and sale of the fictional "Werner Jäger" collection-the name of his wife's grandfather. Beltracchi was sentenced to 6 years, consistent with the deal struck last month with prosecutors, the other defendants (including his wife) to various lesser terms.
On the heels of yesterday's interruption and pressure from the presiding judge to accept a six-year sentence, the accused leader of a forgery ring in Germany apparently confessed today to 14 forgeries. It's been reported that he said that he enjoyed fooling collectors and experts. It is anticipated that the other defendants will receive similar sentences, though it is not yet certain.
We have been following with interest the trial in Cologne, Germany of four accused forgers. The trial began at the beginning of the month. Wolfgang Beltracchi, 60, is accused of organizing a scam that defrauded art collectors out of millions of dollars. Comedian, actor, and writer Steve Martin is among the most high-profile victims. The 47 forgeries mimicked 20th century paintings by Kees Van Dongen, Max Ernst, Max Pechstein and Heinrich Campendonk.