Fine Art Investigations
is the specialized art investigative unit of Financial Investigative Services (FIS), an agency focused on financial investigations. The firm is licensed and regulated by the California Bureau of Security & Investigative Services. serves the unique needs of art dealers, auction houses, collectors, claims insurers, gallerists, law firms and private museums. We investigate high-value art of contemporary artists, expressionists, impressionists, modern, and old-world artists. Our firm is retained to investigate art theft and conduct provenance research. 

Our company’s Chief Investigator is Curtis L. Novy, a Certified Fraud Investigator with years of experience in financial investigations and often serves as a government consultant or expert witness in civil and criminal fraud cases.



Investigative Services

  • Analysis of fake artwork & forged artist signatures
  • Art theft investigations & recovery
  • Auction house, dealer, and gallery due-diligence
  • Catalogue Raisonné research & validation
  • Certificate of Authenticity- verification of historical records
  • Fine art specialty insurer investigations & loss mitigation
  • Museum theft & employee investigations
  • Provenance investigations, ownership disputes, and title claims

Pre-Acquisition Due-Diligence provides its clients with high level due-diligence reports to understand all facts related to an artwork and parties connected to the sale. Our proprietary reports reduce the likelihood of acquiring a questionable artwork.

We offer summary investigation reports prepared for auctioneers, dealers, and gallerists to better understand provenance and identify potential red flags. Our executive dossiers are fact-filled narrative reports for high-net worth collectors, institutions, insurance companies, and museums. These reports include auction records, background investigations on sellers & intermediaries, criminal & legal records searches, lost/stolen database searches, and provenance verification. Executive dossiers serve as supportive documents to Certificates of Authenticity.

Why Retain an Art Investigator?

The fine art industry is well suited for high-net-worth collectors and investors who see art as blue-chip investments. White-collar criminals and unscrupulous dealers are also well suited to fine art. When fake or stolen art is discovered or an artists’ relative claims ownership, litigation is often the next step followed by reputational damage.

Savy art collectors, investors, and insurers now retain professional investigators to evaluate fine art and conduct deep-dive provenance or theft investigations. Art investigators expand on the experience and training of highly skilled art researchers who are not licensed investigators or trained in detecting white-collar crimes, such as art fraud. Art investigators are an essential source of information and risk management to protect collectors and investors from financial loss or reputational damage.

Professional Credentials & Memberships

Professional Licensing

Curtis L. Novy is licensed by the CA Bureau of Security & Investigative Services, License # PI 188926

FIS investigations are conducted in a professional manner with the highest level of honesty and integrity. All work is conducted in the strictest confidence to protect client privacy. FIS complies with all state and federal privacy laws, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). CA Private Investigative Agency, License PI188926.

Contact FIS

If you have any questions please contact us for more information. Please contact me by phone or email to discuss your general investigation needs. Please do not disclose case facts until a conflict of interest check has been completed.

Call or Text: (858) 336-0520

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