IFA Event on Art Fraud

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IFA Event on Art Fraud

The Institute of Fraud Auditors organizes an event that tackles the fraud challenges in the art sector from various angles.

When and where

Date and time


Wiels 354 Avenue Van Volxem 1190 Forest Belgium

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About this event

Theme of the day: “Art Fraud”

The Institute of Fraud Auditors (IFA) aims to set the scene to launch the debate on Fraud in the Art Sector by bringing together representatives of the art sector, international experts, public sector investigators, academics, forensic auditors and other stakeholders,

During the event, the various types of fraud in the art sector will be discussed such as fake art, stolen art and money laundering. Creating transparency and increasing awareness of the personal risks for the various players, is the basis to move towards fraud prevent, detection and integer behavior in the art sector.

Agenda of the day:

  • 13h00 - 13h30 : Arrival of the guests
  • 13h30 - 13h40 : Welcome speech by IFA President Rudy Hoskens
  • 13h40 - 14h15 : “Keeping the church in the middle: the particular role of the Directorate General Economic Inspection (DGIE) in the fight against fraud in the art sector. ” by Michiel Vervloet, Investigator Directorate-General Economic Inspection
  • 14h15 - 14h45 : “Art fraud in context” by Dr. Naomi Oosterman, permanent lecturer Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • 14h45 - 15h00 : Break
  • 15h00 - 15h30 : “Recovering Stolen Art: Case Studies from the Recovery of Nazi Loot, Private Sector Theft, Cultural Heritage, and Fraud” by Christopher A. Marinello, CEO & Founder, Art Recovery International
  • 15h30 - 16h00 : “Insurance of art, mission impossible?” by Eric Hemeleers, Insurance broker Eeckman Art & Insurance
  • 16h00 - 16h15 : “The ‘Art’ of Forensic Auditing” – What is the role of the forensic auditor in arts fraud?” by Peter Leyman, Executive Director Forensic & Integrity Services, EY
  • 16h15 - 17h00 : Panel debate with the speakers and other experts; closing remarks by IFA president
  • 17h00 - 18h00 : Guided tour at the Wiels Contemporary Art museum
  • 18h00 - 19h30 : Networking reception

About the location

WIELS, the centre for Contemporary Art in Brussels, offers art exhibitions with new ideas, artworks, practices and perspectives.

Built in 1930 as the flagship of the Wielemans-Ceuppens brewery by architect Adrien Blomme, the building which is now home to WIELS (also known as the Blomme building or the Wielemans tower) still brims with elements that recall its industrial past. During the renovations in 2005-2008, some of these elements were restored and remain available to be enjoyed by modern-day visitors. A prime example is the brewing hall with its copper vats, tiling, windows and special light, one of the best kept remnants from this illustrious past.

IFA Event on Art Fraud image

About the speakers

IFA Event on Art Fraud image

Michiel Vervloet

Michiel Vervloet is an investigator money laundering prevention at the Anti-Fraud Unit of the Directorate-General Economic Inspection. The AML unit is the competent Belgian public authority to control Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBP) such as art, company service providers, diamonds traders, professional football clubs, real estate agents and leasing companies. Within this role the AML unit consults all relevant stakeholders to inform and teach them about their AML prevention obligations mentioned in the Act of 18 September 2017 concerning money laundering and terrorist financing. Given the Belgian particularity the AML unit also executes the judicial investigations in the art sector concerning the trafficking of antiquities.

Michiel successfully completed the Masterclass Fraud Auditing of IFA Belgium in 2021 and is hence registered as a Registered Fraud Auditor within our Institute.

Naomi Oosterman

Dr. Naomi Oosterman is a permanent lecturer and researcher at the Department of Arts and Culture Studies at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Her research specialisations are the policing of art and heritage crime, the illicit trafficking of arts and antiquities, and the criminogenic characteristics of the art world. She is the editor (with Dr. Donna Yates, Maastricht University) of the volume Crime and art: Sociological and criminological perspectives of crimes in the art world which brings together innovative theoretical, empirical, and methodological contributions from social scientists on the topic of art and heritage crime. Currently, she is co-editing (with Dr. Donna Yates) the volume Art crime in context which is set to be published in 2022.

Erik Hemeleers

After completing the candidacy years, Mr. Eric Hemeleers obtained a master's degree in Commercial Engineering from UCL. He then followed an additional course in Financial Advisor at AXA/Winterthur in Brussels. He started his career in 1993 as a Production Assistant at Arias International, furniture manufacturers based in Marche-en-Famenne. After several years of experience, Eric moved to the pharmaceutical sector, at Union Chimique Belge, and then worked as a Consultant for Price Waterhouse Coopers, the financial services office.

In 1998 Eric Hemeleers joined the family business Léon Eeckman SA as Managing Director, alongside his brother Marc. Since then, he has continued the company tradition as promoters of art and culture. Under his impulse, the company has supported numerous artistic projects and has won – twice – a Caïus prize.

In addition to his professional activities, Eric is also a member of various cultural, art or museum institutions and is a member of the Board of Directors of several charitable organizations.

Christopher A. Marinello

Christopher A. Marinellois one of the world’s foremost experts in recovering stolen, looted, and missing works of art. A lawyer for over 35 years, Chris began his legal career as a litigator and became uniquely proficient in negotiating complex title disputes between collectors, dealers, museums and insurance companies.

He has been involved in several of the best-known restitution cases on behalf of foreign governments and heirs of Holocaust victims to recover stolen artwork and cultural property. Chris successfully recovered the first work of art to be restituted from the infamous Gurlitt hoard and was responsible for the recovery by the heirs of Parisian art dealer Paul Rosenberg of several Nazi-looted artworks held in Museums and private collections.

In 2013, Chris founded Art Recovery International – a specialist practice providing due diligence, dispute resolution and art recovery services for the art market and cultural heritage sectors. Within this, Chris has overseen the development of the non-profit Artive Database – the most technologically advanced system in existence for the identification and recording of issues and claims attached to works of art.

Over the years, Chris has recovered stolen and looted artwork valued at over $600 million dollars on behalf of museums, collectors, dealers, artists, governments, cultural and religious institutions and insurance companies.

As an adjunct professor at New York University, and now at Ca Foscari in Venice, Chris has taught Law and Ethics in the Art Market and co-founded the Art Crime Conference at NYU’s School of Professional Studies. He writes and lectures extensively on due diligence and the art recovery process and has presented at numerous academic and business forums.

Chris has served as a member of the Art Law Committee of the NY City Bar and is a member of the Advisory Council of the American Appraisers Association, the Arts and Records Committee of the IMUA and a member of the City of London Worshipful Company of Arts Scholars.

Peter Leyman

Peter Leyman is an Executive Director at EY Forensic & Integrity Services and has a wide experiences with fraud prevention and detection on board range of areas (from large multinationals to small public organizations). He has been involved in various fraud investigations and integrity assessments in the art sector.

Peter is a board member of the Institute of Fraud Auditors and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.