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Fraud charges expected against Sands Point art dealer

Glafira Rosales, a Sands Point art dealer, faces

Glafira Rosales, a Sands Point art dealer, faces charges of wire fraud and money laundering in what federal authorities say was a $30 million scheme to sell counterfeit paintings she claimed were by Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Willem de Kooning. Photo Credit: The New York Times

A federal prosecutor in Manhattan said Monday that a "disposition" of fraud charges against wealthy Sands Point art dealer Glafira Rosales, which could include a guilty plea, is likely soon.

Rosales, 56, was accused in May of selling forged works of abstract expressionist masters such as Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko to two prominent Manhattan art galleries in a $30 million fraud.

"We believe that we're going to reach a disposition and we're still on track to do that on or before August 30," prosecutor Jason Hernandez told U.S. District Judge Katherine Failla at Rosales' arraignment on a superseding indictment returned last week.

Prosecutors in the new indictment described an unnamed, unindicted co-conspirator in the case as Rosales' "boyfriend," and said they had recruited an obscure painter from Queens who sold art on the street to create the forgeries in his home studio.

The government said the painter, also unnamed, was paid several thousand dollars per picture. From 1994 to 2009, 63 forgeries were sold to two high-end galleries for more than $33 million, and the galleries in turn sold them to buyers for more than $80 million.

Rosales has pleaded not guilty to charges of fraud, money laundering and filing false tax returns. She and her lawyer, Steven Kartagener, both refused to comment on a likely disposition after court Monday.

Hernandez, in response to a question from Failla, said more arrests are likely in the case, but did not name the future targets.

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