The Federal Bureau of Investigations confirmed that they’d raided the home of Donald Henkel in Michigan. This follows after the known artist became creating a “Forgery Ring”. Donald masterfully sold fake paintings & sports memorabilia to American civilians. The FBI detailed evidence against Donald Henkel, who sold forged copied of paintings from three noteworthy artists. The forged artists include George Copeland Ault, Ralston Crawford, and Gertrude Abercrombie. All three are infamous for designing geometric compositions that display simple shapes & objective outlines.
Forged artwork isn’t the exclusive crime committed by Donald Henkel. The 60-Year-Old Thief also counterfeited sports memorabilia from notable legends in Major League Baseball. Counterfeited items include signed baseballs, gloves, bats, hats, and jerseys. Players represented on illegal memorabilia included Willie Mays & Babe Ruth. Lou Gehrig and Alex Rodriguez.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations identified that Donald Henkel operated this forgery ring between March 2016 – April 2020. Law enforcement became aware of the criminal proceedings of Henkel through online forums. Progression in their case against Henkel wouldn’t move forward until the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s because Donald was forced to resume all criminal proceedings through digital databases. FBI Personnel swept through these databases, obtaining necessary information that garnered a search warrant from a Michigan Judge.
Arriving on-scene, FBI Agents noted an immediate influx of forged products within the confines of Donald Henkel’s home. This included forged copies of historical Mickey Mouse Drawings. Evidence shows that Henkel was mastering the signature of Walt Disney, and members of the Beatles. Agents remarked that it’s rare to see a forger go to extensive lengths to master their art, indicating that Henkel is proficient with this level of crime. FBI Agents will interrogate Donald Henkel on his former lifestyle before March 2016, possibly revealing other forgery scams.
The Community Reacts
The Managing Director of Herschel Adler Museum spoke on the forging of their artwork. Elizabeth Field emphasized that regardless of these forged paintings being fake or note, they display true beauty for whoever holds them. Elizabeth did note that mastering forged artwork on this level is the nightmare forever dealer, defeating their stronghold of maintaining exclusive painting’s that most cannot obtain.