Art museum employee stole paintings and swapped in forgeries

An employee of the Deutsches Museum was busted for snatching paintings, swapping in fakes, and then selling the originals at auction. According to one of the auction houses, "simply wasn't possible to identify them as stolen property." The unnamed 30-year-old man used the proceeds from the heist to pay off debts and buy a Rolls-Royce along with luxury wristwatches. From Oddity Central:

The unnamed museum employee stole "Das Märchen vom Froschkönig" (The Tale of the Frog Prince) by Franz von Stuck, replaced it with a fake, and put the original up for auction. he told the auction house that the artwork had belonged to his grandparents or great-grandparents, and managed to earn almost 50,000 euros ($52,000) in cash, after the auction fees were deducted.

He subsequently swapped "Die Weinprüfung" (The Wine Test) by Eduard von Grützner and "Zwei Mädchen beim Holzsammeln im Gebirge" (Two Girls Collecting Wood in the Mountains) by Franz von Defregger and sold them at the same auction house, earning tens of thousands of euros. He also stole "Dirndl" by Franz von Defregger, and tried selling it through a different Munich auction house, but it did not sell.

The judge—who said the culprit showed "genuine remorse"—gave him a 21-month suspended jail sentence. He must also pay $64,000 back to the museum.