More arrests expected in N.Y. counterfeit art fraud
NEW YORK — More arrests were planned in the criminal case against a New York art dealer accused of peddling counterfeit art for 15 years as the undiscovered works of famous artists including Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, a prosecutor said on Monday.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Hernandez made the disclosure at the arraignment of Glafira Rosales, 57, of Sands Point, on Long Island. Rosales, standing beside her lawyer, pleaded not guilty to a superseding indictment that accused her of engaging in the scam from 1994 through 2009.
U.S. District Judge Katherine P. Failla asked Hernandez whether more arrests were planned and he said there were, though he did not elaborate. As for the case against Rosales, he said it would likely be resolved without trial by the end of this month or next. Her lawyer, Steven Kartagener, agreed but declined to comment outside court. She is free on bail.
The refreshed indictment charged Rosales with conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering and several tax offenses, saying she charged two Manhattan art galleries more than $30 million for 63 fake art pieces promoted as previously unknown works by a variety of abstract expressionist artists of the 20th century, including Pollock, Kooning, Mark Rothko, Robert Motherwell, Barnett Newman, Sam Francis and Franz Kline.
The pieces were created by a Queens painter working in his home studio and garage. Rosales' boyfriend, described in court papers only as a “co-conspirator not named as a defendant,” had observed the artist selling works of art on a lower Manhattan street, the indictment said. The boyfriend paid the painter several thousand dollars to make each bogus art piece, and the painter made each one seem older than it was by exposing it to hot and cold temperatures and the outdoors, authorities said.
To enhance the stories surrounding about 50 of the works of art and boost their values, Rosales and her boyfriend maintained that Rosales was acting as the broker or agent on behalf of a person of Eastern European descent with residences in Switzerland and Mexico who had inherited the works from a relative and wished to remain anonymous, the indictment said.
Others were said to have belonged to a Spanish collector of art who had received the works from a Spanish gallery.
Prosecutors said the galleries sold the paintings for more than $80 million, earning nearly $48 million in profits for themselves.
According to court papers, the scheme was lucrative to Rosales and her boyfriend. Proceeds of sales of a dozen of the works from 2006 through 2008 alone exceeded $14 million for them.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- High court to weigh pregnancy work rights
- FBI investigates celebrities’ nude photo claims
- Doctor’s license reinstated pending hearing in W.Va.
- Perry distances himself from unflattering image tweeted of DA
- U.S. to get base in Niger to aid Islamist hunt
- New heart failure drug works much better than current treatment, study finds
- Forest Service OKs logging in California forests hit by wildfire
- University of Wisconsin researchers work to customize vegetables for specific uses
- Cleveland welcomes server farms