New York art dealer Glafira Rosales was indicted on Wednesday for a $30 million fraud that included selling allegedly fake artworks by modern masters such as Jackson Pollock and Robert Motherwell. She sold the works to two Manhattan galleries who passed many along to clients, said federal prosecutors.
Rosales, 56, was charged with wire fraud, money laundering, filing false tax returns and failing to report assets from a foreign bank account, in the indictment at Manhattan federal court. She faces a maximum prison sentence of 59 years, if convicted.
Court filings claim that Rosales sold more than 60 allegedly fresh-to-market works of art by renowned 20th-century artists from Pollock to Motherwell, as well as Mark Rothko and Willem de Kooning, to galleries such as the now-defunct Knoedler. Prosecutors claim the paintings are fake and that Rosales knew it, while making up phony provenances of a Swiss client or Spanish collector.
She is accused of hiding at least $12.5 million in income on her taxes between 2006 and 2008 from the art sales, and failed to report assets in foreign banks from 2010 to 2011.
"The indictment depicts a complete circle of fraud perpetrated by Glafira Rosales - fake paintings sold on behalf of non-existent clients with money deposited in a hidden bank account," said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in a statement.