NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A New York art dealer has admitted to running a 15-year scam on the art world that involved selling millions of dollars in counterfeit paintings.
Glafira Rosales, 57, of Sands Point pleaded guilty to nine charges, including wire fraud and money laundering, in Manhattan Federal Court on Monday.
Rosales had claimed to have discovered previously unknown works by some of the most famous artists of the 20th century, including Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Willem de Kooning, WCBS 880′s Irene Cornell reported.
The works were actually well-done forgeries created by a 73-year-old Chinese artist living in Queens who was paid a few thousand dollars for each piece, prosecutors said.
Rosales sold 63 fakes to two prestigious Manhattan art galleries for about $33 million, prosecutors said. The galleries then sold the forgeries to wealthy collectors for over $80 million, prosecutors said.
The talented forger has not been charged and has since moved back to China, Cornell reported.
Rosales faces a maximum of 99 years in prison. She is scheduled to be sentenced on March 18.
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