Brian Walshe, the man at the center of his wife Ana Walshe‘s missing person case, was called a “sociopath” in a bitter fight over his late father’s estate, court records show.
Fred Pescatore, a good friend of Dr. Thomas Moorecroft Walshe III, made a striking allegation against Brian in a probate court affidavit dated Nov. 21, 2019. He claimed that he went with Brian and Thomas on a trip to China, and that the young Walshe attacked guards when caught smuggling.
“I witnessed firsthand what Brian was capable of,” he wrote. “I saw Brian attempt to smuggle out antiquities from China. When Brian was confronted, he picked up a stanchion and literally attempted to kill four or five guards that had come to talk to him about his crime. Brian is not only a sociopath but also a very angry and physically violent person.”
The late man’s nephew, Andrew Walshe, also claimed that Brian Walshe once stole a million dollars from his father.
Now Brian Walshe, 47, is charged in Cohasset, Massachusetts, with misleading cops about his whereabouts during his wife’s disappearance. He allegedly claimed he last saw her in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day and that she had to take an emergency trip to work in Washington, D.C. She was reported missing after cops performed a welfare check on Jan. 4.
Brian Walshe, who is on pre-sentencing probation for a wire fraud case in which he illegally offered Warhol paintings for sale, allegedly violated his probation by going to a Home Depot in Rockland, Massachusetts. He purchased $450 in cleaning supplies, including mops, buckets, tarps, and tape, prosecutors said at his arraignment on Monday. Police also claimed he traveled in the areas of Brockton and Abington, although his itinerary for travel did not include these towns.
Investigators also found blood and a bloody knife in the family’s basement, prosecutors said.
Brian Walshe is only charged with misleading cops.
His attorney said in Monday’s arraignment hearing that the defendant contacted Ana’s employer to say he had not heard from her, according to NBC Boston. Brian Walshe has also been cooperative and let police search his phone and home, the lawyer said.
Investigators released no information on what they believe happened to Ana, age 39.
“The search and processing of the family’s Cohasset home was completed this afternoon and police have departed that scene,” Norfolk District Attorney’s spokesperson David Traub said in an update Tuesday afternoon.
“[Ana] Walshe stands 5’2″ and weighs 115 pounds,” police have said. “She has brown hair, brown eyes and has an olive complexion. It is believed that she speaks with an Eastern European accent.”
Showdown over father’s estate
The fight over the late Dr. Walshe’s estate marks a fraught and fractured family history. Andrew Walshe, the nephew and executor of the elder man’s estate, said that Brian Walshe was long estranged from his father.
“At that juncture [the winter of 2009-2010], I understood, as was also common knowledge amongst Dr. Thomas Walshe’s friends and family members, his son, Brian R. Walshe had absconded with almost one million dollars from Dr. Thomas Walshe in prior years,” Andrew wrote in an affidavit Dec. 2, 2019. “The theft from his only son was tragic, not only in that it occurred, but also that Brian R. Walshe essentially disappeared from his father’s life purposefully.”
Pescatore and Andrew Walshe’s affidavits were in answer to a filing from Brian Walshe, who claimed that he reconciled with his father.
“We had a long conversation about our relationship and it was the first time we had spoken candidly since a family therapy session in 1996,” Brian Walshe wrote of an alleged conversation in 2017.
Pescatore and Andrew Walshe denied that father and son were on good terms or ever reconciled. Thomas left Brian out of the will.
“The theft caused an irreparable rift in their relationship and caused not only mental hardship for Dr. Thomas Walshe, but also required Dr. Thomas Walshe to continue working past the age at which he had wished to retire, as a significant amount of his savings were stolen and never returned,” Andrew Walshe wrote.
“Tom was always clear that he did not want his son Brian to inherit anything from him,” Pescatore wrote. “I cannot imagine that Brian had enough money to buy a house as he had to use his mother’s funds to pay his legal fees for his federal case with respect to which he is under indictment and faces prison time.”
He also alleged that Brian Walshe once stole “a significant amount of money” from Thomas Walshe.
“Brian and Tom’s estrangement had everything to do with money,” Pescatore wrote. “Brian stole money from Tom and swindled him out of almost one million dollars. Brian basically did to his father what he is accused of doing in Boston. In Federal Court.”
He called Brian Walshe “a sociopath who could never stay in one school as a child.”
Andrew Walshe claimed that Brian Walshe left he and other family members in the dark about Thomas Walshe’s death during a trip to India. In his affidavit, Brian Walshe said that his mother, who divorced Thomas Walshe years before, called him about his father’s death on Sept. 21, 2018.
Andrew Walshe said that he did not even know about the death until he reached out to his late uncle’s friends.
“Consequently, none of the family was aware of Dr. Thomas Walshe’s passing until I began informing individuals in early May of 2019,” he said.
Through affidavits, Andrew Walshe and Pescatore clashed with Brian Walshe over Thomas Walshe’s health and state of mind in his older years.
Maintains innocence in art fraud case
Writing in a filing dated Oct. 30, 2019, Brian Walshe maintained his innocence in the Warhol painting case.
“I can’t speak about any criminal allegations, but I am more than confident that I will be vindicated before this matter is set for trial,” he wrote.
Online records show he pleaded guilty in 2021 to wire fraud, interstate transportation for a scheme to defraud, and unlawful monetary transaction. A count of possession of converted goods will be dropped after his sentencing, authorities said.
There has been no action in the matter since July 17, 2022, after his sentencing hearing got postponed.
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