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NY Dealer Pleads Guilty In Fake Art Scheme

September 20, 2013

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We <a href="http://blog.wcmlaw.com/2013/07/art-dealer-indicted-sale-fraudulent-art-ny/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">previously posted </a>about the indictment of Glafira Rosales, the art dealer indicted by the US Attorney's office in New York for her participation in an expansive scheme to sell fake art works to galleries, including the Knoedler Gallery.  Rosales has now <a href="http://www.justice.gov/usao/nys/pressreleases/September13/RosalesGlafiraPleaPR.php" target="_blank" rel="noopener">plead guilty </a>to a number of significant felonies, including conspiracy to sell the fake art, money laundering, and tax crimes.
Rosales claimed that she obtained the art -- purported to be painted by Modernist masters such as Pollack and Rothko --  from two anonymous collectors from Switzerland and Spain.  Instead, all of the fake works were produced by a single painter who worked out of his garage in Woodhaven, Queens.  The paintings were then treated so that they would have the false patina of age.
According to the US Attorney's office, Rosales was paid approximately $33.2 million for the fake art.  She agreed to forfeit that amount as part of her guilty plea, but it remains to be seen how much of that amount is actually recoverable.
We were <a href="http://www.blouinartinfo.com/news/story/932747/as-the-knoedler-saga-spreads-who-decides-whats-a-fake?utm_source=BLOUIN+ARTINFO+Newsletters&amp;utm_campaign=5ca969f3fb-Daily+Digest+7.25.13&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_term=0_df23dbd3c6-5ca969f3fb-83001850" target="_blank" rel="noopener">interested to see</a> how the US Attorney's office was going to prove that the works were indeed fake, but that point is now moot.  Indeed, during her plea Rosales admitted that the paintings were "fakes created by an individual in Queens."  No doubt her statement will be used by the plaintiffs in the civil lawsuits filed against Rosales and the galleries, and the question of interest to now follow is whether the galleries are found liable.
Please write to <a href="mailto:mbono@wcmlaw.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Mike Bono</a> if you would like further information.

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