The art fraudster Glafira Rosales who was central to the Knoedler art scam has been ordered to Pay $81 million in compensation to the victims of the scandal.
This will go down in history as one of the most incompetent fraud cases
The disgraced New York art dealer was surprisingly the only person detained in the case. The former Director of Knoedler Ann Freedman seems to have avoided any punishment or responsibility for the biggest art fraud in history. Ms. Freedman marketed and sold the fraudulent works of art to customers who trusted the reputation of New Yorks oldest art gallery, where she was employed. Freedman has always denied any part in the plot to defraud, even though the sale of the fake works of art accounted for the lion’s share of the profits made at the gallery, over a ten year period. No alarm bells ringing?
The case will surely go down in history as one of New York’s most incompetent prosecutions. No one at the top of the scheme was ever charged. All of the blame was placed on one woman, who was central but also a victim, manipulated by others around her. The money has all disappeared laundered in a worldwide network. The Knoedler Gallery has long closed for going all responsibility for the crime.
Also named in the 2014 indictment are Rosales’s former partner Jose Carlos Bergantiños Diaz and his brother Rosales, common law husband Jesus Bergantiños Diaz, The Chinese painter Pei-Shen Qian who painted the fakes fled to China. An extradition order to Spain was granted for the brothers in 2016, however, Jose Carlos pleaded to a judge that because of poor health he couldn’t travel to the United States. His brother has vanished as has all of the money made in the scam.
It has now been four months since Rosales was sentenced to nine months of house arrest and three years probation for her part in the fraud. In 2013, Rosales entered a guilty plea to charges of wire fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion. Rosales was charged with the lesser crime of transporting the paintings to Knoedler and other galleries. The fraud was carried out between 1994 and 2009.
US Attorney Patrick Egan stated that the government “has been working to identify all of the victims in this fraud that dates back decades. The process has proven more complicated than originally anticipated.” The identification details including addresses and amounts owed to the victims were outlined in documents, however, they have been sealed “to protect the privacy interests of victims,” it was revealed.
Top Photo: A genuine painting by Robert Motherwell at the Royal Academy similar to the Abstract Expressionist paintings forged by the fraudsters © Artlyst 2017