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Press Release

Wilton Man Sentenced to 14 Months in Federal Prison for Operating Art Fraud Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut

Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that NICHOLAS P. HATCH, 29, of Wilton, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Sarala V. Nagala in Hartford to 14 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for selling counterfeit works of art.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Hatch was the owner of Hatch Estate Services LLC, an estate sales company based in Norwalk.  Between approximately April 2020 and January 2022, Hatch used various websites, including, a website specializing in estate sales and auctions, to offer for sale purported paintings by the artist Peter Max.  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.

Through this scheme, Hatch sold 145 fraudulent Peter Max paintings and defrauded 43 purchasers out of a total of $248,600.  Judge Nagala ordered Hatch to make full restitution.

Hatch was arrested on a criminal complaint on May 9, 2023.  On August 7, 2023, he pleaded guilty to mail fraud.

Hatch, who is released on bond, is required to report to prison on June 17.

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

Updated April 17, 2024