Connecticut Man Who Forged Peter Max Paintings Sentenced

The scheme defrauded collectors of nearly a quarter-million dollars.

Peter Max at his New York studio in 2012. Photo: Getty Images.

Nicholas P. Hatch, of Wilton, Connecticut, has been sentenced to 14 months in federal prison for defrauding art collectors of some $248,600 by selling 145 forged works, supposedly paintings by artist Peter Max, to 43 buyers between 2020 and 2022. He was also ordered to make full restitution. The sentence was handed down on Wednesday, April 17, by U.S. District Court Judge Sarala V. Nagala; the prison time will be followed by three years of supervised release. 

Operating under the name of Hatch Estate Services, Hatch, 29, used various websites, including, to peddle paintings that were presented as being by Max but that Hatch knew were not genuine. Using multiple aliases, Hatch provided supporting materials like forged certificates of authenticity. 

The investigation began when a former Hatch Estate Services employee noticed 100 Max paintings in a Bridgeport warehouse, the affidavit stated. The employee contacted authorities, informing them that he had been told that Hatch purchased Max prints, later adding paint and the artist’s signature. 

Hatch was arrested on May 9, 2023, and pleaded guilty to the mail fraud charges in August. The FBI investigated the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher W. Schmeisser prosecuted it. 

Hatch is currently out on bond and is required to report to prison on June 17. 

Max’s work is distinguished by its vivid colors and psychedelic imagery. He first earned a reputation in the late 1960s for concert posters and countercultural events. He was a guest on the NBC Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1967 and appeared on the cover of LIFE Magazine in 1969. A master of merchandising, he released dozens of commercial products, including clocks, cups, and sneakers, emblazoned with his distinctive imagery. 

Max, now 85, has dementia as a result of Alzheimer’s disease and has been placed under conservatorship. His children are embroiled in multiple lawsuits over control of the artist’s company, ALP.

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