In this subpage, an overview will be given of the legal proceedings with regard to the Zwaneveld family and the couple concerning the embezzlement of the Zwaneveld collection.
After the customs office finished their research, they returned the collection to Anna J. The reason for this was that Dees Zwaneveld had sold the collection to her during the investigation. This was a financial ploy to serve as protection for Dees Zwaneveld and his assets. The sale was however never completed, as J. never paid the agreed-to sum of ƒ 1.750.000. As a result, the Zwanevelds started a civil case against J. for the payment of this sum. During this case, J. committed perjury on a number of occasions. The judge appointed to the case also stated that he would file for perjury charges at the Public Prosecutors Office. Due to an unknown clerical error, however, it was Dees Zwaneveld who got investigated for perjury instead of J.
In 2001 the District Court of Assen stated that the transaction had all the characteristics of a sham transaction and ordered the Zwaneveld family to prove the transaction was, in fact, valid and legally binding. In 2003 the court decided that the Zwanevelds had not been able to do so, and thus the judges ruled in favor of the defendant. Shortly after the ruling Dees Zwaneveld passed away. His wife and his son appealed the District Court of Assen’s decision, but their appeal was inadmissible.
The case surfaces again in 2015, when Dees Zwaneveld’s son, Jan Zwaneveld, is called to the witness stand in the civil case between Johan Meijering and Cor van L. Although Van L. denies the paintings stem from the Zwaneveld collection, his wife admits that paintings Pic de Luc and Het Reitdiep were acquired from the couple J. Based on this new information, Jan Zwaneveld demanded reopening of his family’s case based on fraud charges. J. had stated, under oath, that she had never received the Zwaneveld collection into her possession, however, the statement of Van L.’s wife proves that J. had committed perjury. Although the court judged Jan Zwaneveld’s claim to be admissible, they found that there was not enough proof to reopen the case based on fraud charges. Van L.’s wife’s declaration was not enough to warrant a reopening of the case.
Although it is most likely that Van L. and J. colluded to embezzle and resell the Zwaneveld collection, there is not enough proof to legally substantiate this claim. Due to this fact, it may never become known what exactly happened to the Zwaneveld collection and the forgeries. The most likely answer is that the other forged paintings have been sold (just like the 30 paintings that Meijering was able to track down), or are waiting to be sold.
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