Art law Controversies News Spain

Partner of Glafira Rosales arrested amid ongoing forgery case

US authorities have reportedly requested the extradition of the alleged accomplice, who was arrested in Spain

A Spanish art dealer who is suspected of helping engineer an $80m forgery scheme was arrested in Spain last week. Jose Carlos Bergantiños Diaz was taken into custody on 18 April at a luxury hotel in Seville, according to The New York Times. He is expected to appear in Madrid before a judge this week to face an extradition request from the US government, the Times reports. The art dealer's brother Jesus Angel Bergantiños Diaz, who controlled Jose Carlos's Spanish bank accounts, was also arrested last week. It is unclear if authorities are attempting to extradite him as well.

Jose Carlos Bergantiños Diaz has been identified in the press and in multiple legal filings as the companion of Glafira Rosales, a Long Island-based art dealer who sold forgeries of Modernist works to galleries including the now-defunct Knoedler Gallery. Rosales, who pleaded guilty last year to her involvement in the scheme, has been cooperating with federal authorities. As part of an ongoing investigation, the US attorney delayed her sentencing last month until at least September.

Diaz allegedly recruited a Chinese immigrant painter living in Queens to create works in the style of Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell and other Modern masters. The couple went on to sell the imitations for millions of dollars. Diaz is also accused of treating the canvases to make them appear aged, forging the signatures of famous artists and transferring the money the couple earned from the swindle—around $33m—to bank accounts in Spain, according to earlier Times reports.

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Comments

22 Apr 14
16:51 CET

ANTHONY, EASTHAMPTON

This is what happens when the so called "experts"use that visual approach.The paintings would have had to have the "opinions" of each expert on the particular artists involved.Its unclear why nobody would have had the paintings tested by a leading forgery expert prior to selling them.It would have saved alot of heartache for all these innocent victims of this fraud.Sad day in the New-york artworld.

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