A former Sydney art dealer has been released on bail after being charged over a multi-million dollar investment fraud. Police say 64-year-old Ronald Coles sold investors valuable artworks that had either already been on-sold to others or were already the property of others. More than 40 investors allegedly lost a combined total of more than $8 million. Coles was arrested by officers from Strike Force Glasson which was established in 2009 with Fraud and Cybercrime Squad detectives to investigate the alleged artwork investment fraud. Police say they began investigating in early 2009, with 400 paintings seized while officers established who legitimately owned them. Coles was arrested this morning at Gosford Police Station on the New South Wales central coast. The Ettalong resident has been charged with 77 counts of larceny and 10 counts of cheat and defraud.
Ronald Coles was one of Australia’s leading art dealer, under the crimes act Coles face 77 counts of Larcenya s a bailee and a further 10 counts of director/officer cheat or defraud. Coles specialised in fine art, and dealt with some of Australia’s most respected artist, including Sir Arthur Streeton and Brett Whitely. Read the full article »»»»