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in court on Tuesday, September 16, 2013.

Judge Orders Glafira Rosales to Pay $81 Million to Victims of Knoedler Forgery Scandal

On July 5, a federal judge ordered Long Island dealer Glafira Rosales to pay $81 million in restitution to the victims of the Knoedler gallery art forgery ring, Eileen Kinsella of Artnet reports. Rosales, the only person connected to the fraud who has been detained, has previously served three months of jail time and is currently serving nine months of house arrest and three years of probation.

The restitution order was only recently filed in the US District Court of the Southern District of New York, as compiling information on the buyers who were duped by Knoedler gallery took longer than expected. Attorney Joon Kim and assistant US attorney Patrick Egan said that the government “has been working to identify all of the victims in this fraud that dates back to 1994 . . . The process has proven more complicated than originally anticipated.” The amounts owed to each victim were sealed to protect their privacy.

Rosales transported a number of the fake works, which were sold for millions between 1994 and 2009, to and from Knoedler and other galleries. She had maintained that the pieces, which were supposedly by artists such as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Robert Motherwell, had only been recently discovered after being kept in a secret collection for decades. Their mysterious owner was identified as Mr. X.

Rosales’s alleged accomplices include Jose Carlos Bergantiños Diaz—her partner of twenty-five years, with whom she has a daughter—his brother Jesus Bergantiños Diaz, and Chinese immigrant and painter Pei-Shen Qian. Pei-Shen, the former Queens-based artist who created the fakes, could have been sentenced to up to forty-five years in prison but fled the United States and took refuge in China before he could be arrested. The Diaz brothers also left the US for Spain before they could be indicted. In May 2016, a Spanish court denied the US’s extradition request for José Carlos Bergantiños Diaz, citing his health. Jesus Bergantiños Diaz’s whereabouts are unknown. Since the 165-year-old Knoedler Gallery closed in 2011, it has privately settled a number of lawsuits with former clients.

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