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Sands Point Art Dealer Pleads Guilty in $80M Fake Art Scam

Glafira Rosales facing 99 years in prison for conspiracy to sell fake works.

Sands Point Art Dealer Pleads Guilty in $80M Fake Art Scam
A Sands Point art dealer pled guilty Monday in federal court to participating in a scheme to sell more than 60 fake works of modern art to two New York art galleries, according to an attorney for the Southern District of New York.

“With her guilty plea today, Glafira Rosales acknowledges her role in a sprawling fraud that involved the commission of phony artworks she represented as real, and her efforts to hide the proceeds of this massive scam in foreign bank accounts," said Preet Bharara in a press release.


Rosales, 57, also pled guilty to conspiracy to sell the fake works, conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering, and several tax crimes related to the fake art scheme.

Facing a total maximum imprisonment term of 99 years, Rosales agreed to forfeit $33.2 million including her home in Sands Point, and to pay restitution in an amount not to exceed $81 million. 

Sentencing is set for March 18 by U.s. District Court Judge Katherine P. Failla.

According to court documents, from 1994 through 2009, Rosales sold dozens of never-before-exhibited and previously unknown works of art (the “Works”) that she claimed were by the hand of some of the most famous artists of the twentieth century, such as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Robert Motherwell. She sold the Works to two prominent Manhattan art galleries for approximately $33.2 million. The galleries, in turn, sold the Works to victims for more than $80 million.

The Works were fakes created by a painter who resided in Queens. Rosales conspired with a long-time co-conspirator to procure and sell the Works and to launder the proceeds of the fraud, according to prosecuting attorneys.

Rosales was arrested in May.

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