Art Dealer in Knoedler Scandal Avoids More Prison Time

A fake Pollock sold through Knoedler
A fake Pollock sold through Knoedler

Long Island art dealer Glafira Rosales will not be sentenced to more prison time after serving three months for her part in the $80 million scam that helped topple Manhattan's oldest art gallery.

Rosales was sentenced to time served on Tuesday at Federal District Court in Manhattan. Her lawyers argued that her former boyfriend, Jose Carlso Bergantinos Diaz, abused her and coerced her into passing the fraudulent artworks on to New York's once-esteemed and now defunct Knoedler & Co. gallery. Bergantinos Diaz was arrested in Spain in 2014, but has yet to be extradited.

Some 60 fake artworks were handled by Rosales, sourced from a Chinese artist working in Queens. The couple's scheme took them to Knoedler where they passed off the fakes as previously unknown works by modern masters such as Mark Rothko, Robert Motherwell and Jackson Pollock. They fabricated elaborate provenances listing a mysterious collector who was unnamed.

Several lawsuits from collectors who bought the bogus works from Knoedler have been settled out of court. (In one case, Knoedler's Ann Freedman settled out of court for an undisclosed amount with Sotheby's chairman Domenico De Sole, and his wife Eleanore, collectors who were seeking $25 million in damages after they bought a fake Mark Rothko for $8.3 million from the gallery.)

Rosales will pay restitution and will be under a supervised home detention.

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