A Florida artwork seller who promised bargains on works he claimed had been originals by grasp artists together with Roy Lichtenstein, Keith Haring and Henri Matisse has been sentenced to greater than two years in federal jail for operating a counterfeit scheme, federal officers stated.
The person, Daniel Elie Bouaziz, 69, owned a number of artwork galleries in Palm Seashore County, Fla., by way of which he operated the counterfeit scheme. He was sentenced on Tuesday in U.S. District Courtroom in Miami to 27 months in federal jail, adopted by three years of supervised launch, and was ordered to pay a $15,000 fantastic, court docket filings present.
Mr. Bouaziz pleaded responsible in February to at least one cost of cash laundering on the situation that federal prosecutors drop 16 different counts, in response to the paperwork.
Neither Mr. Bouaziz nor his lawyer may instantly be reached for touch upon Tuesday night.
Based on prosecutors, Mr. Bouaziz, a French and Israeli citizen born in Algeria, was in the USA on a B-2 customer’s visa. They stated the items he had represented as genuine works had been low-cost reproductions he had purchased by way of on-line auctions. He was charged in June after an investigation that included the serving of search warrants at his galleries, a overview of monetary data and undercover purchases of what prosecutors had deemed to be fraudulent artwork.
Based on the federal criticism, Mr. Bouaziz carried out his artwork dealing by way of three corporations: Galerie Danieli, Danieli Advantageous Artwork and VIP Leases L.L.C. The website for Danieli Advantageous Artwork advertises a set from a variety of notable artists, from Monet and Rodin to Jean-Michel Basquiat and Willem de Kooning.
However counterfeit Andy Warhols had been what despatched Mr. Bouaziz to jail.
On Oct. 25, 2021, Mr. Bouaziz offered what he had claimed had been “genuine, authentic Warhol items,” a few of them “signed by the artist,” to an unwitting buyer, federal prosecutors said. The client gave Mr. Bouaziz a $200,000 down fee, which he then wired to different accounts. Based on court docket paperwork, Mr. Bouaziz then took 5 artworks to the client’s home.
Federal prosecutors didn’t instantly reply to requests for touch upon Tuesday night, however in a sentencing memorandum, they famous that Mr. Bouaziz “knew a number of the items he offered weren’t real.” In a single occasion, they added, he offered fraudulent artwork to an secret agent for $25,0000.
Mr. Bouaziz, they added, had gained over many in Palm Seashore together with his philanthropy, his luxurious automobiles and invites to lunch and artwork occasions. However his generosity, prosecutors stated, belied a darker actuality. “Bouaziz painted an image of himself that he needed others to see and imagine,” they stated.
A restitution listening to is scheduled for Aug. 16.