NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A 56-year-old New York woman accused of cheating two of Manhattan’s top art galleries out of millions of dollars faces a federal judge Saturday after pleading not guilty at her arraignment on Friday.
Over the span of more than 10 years, Glafira Rosales sold the galleries counterfeit paintings from fake overseas collectors, prosecutors said.
Rosales is still being held without bail.
“My client has never knowingly sold any art that she knew to be forged,” said Rosales’ civil defense lawyer.
According to federal prosecutors, Rosales claimed the works were newly discovered by renowned masters and said she got them from an anonymous Swiss collector and a Spanish collector.
Rosales allegedly fabricated the story about her overseas dealers, hid her profits in foreign bank accounts and filed false tax returns. Her seven-count indictment accuses her of selling 63 pieces of artwork to the galleries and making over $33 million.
The work that the galleries then sold to clients totaled more than $80 million in sales. Some of those customers have filed civil suits against Rosales and officials at the galleries who they claim were aware the art was fake.
If Rosales is convicted on all counts, she faces a maximum of 59 years in jail.
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