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Wilton man heading to federal prison after allegedly selling counterfeit art in Norwalk

A Wilton man has been sentenced to 14 months in federal prison for fraudulently selling works of art he falsely said were created by Peter Max, United States Attorney Vanessa Roberts Avery said.

Nicholas P. Hatch, 29, owner of Hatch Estate Services LLC, an estate sales company based in Norwalk, sold 145 counterfeit Peter Max paintings and defrauded 43 purchasers out of a total of $248,600, the news release said. U.S. District Judge Sarala V. Nagala ordered Hatch to make full restitution.

Hatch was arrested on a criminal complaint on May 9. On Aug. 7, he pleaded guilty to mail fraud.

“Between approximately April 2020 and January 2022, Hatch used various websites, including Estatesales.org, a website specializing in estate sales and auctions, to offer for sale purported paintings by the artist Peter Max,” the news release said. “Hatch, who knew that the paintings were not authentic Peter Max paintings, used multiple aliases when interacting with purchasers through email during the sale process, and he made various representations as to the paintings’ authenticity, including providing certificates of the works’ authenticity.”

Hatch’s 14 months of imprisonment will be followed by three years of supervised release, the news release said. He is required to report to prison on June 17.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher W. Schmeisser.

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