U.S. attorneys in New York say they arrested a man on federal fraud charges for allegedly trying to sell forgeries of works by artists including Jean-Michael Basquiat and Keith Haring.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said the actual works are worth millions while the forgeries are “worthless,” in a complaint unsealed Friday in federal court in Manhattan.
Prosecutors allege 49-year-old Angel Pereda, of Mexico, “conned art buyers” who he hoped wouldn’t notice the art was forged in a scheme from around 2020 to this year.
Prosecutors also allege that Pereda falsified the ownership history of the forged artwork on at least one occasion when an individual told him that the record was detected as fraudulent.
Efforts to reach Pereda were unsuccessful Saturday.
The Brooklyn-born Basquiat rose to fame as a graffiti artist in the late 1970s.