PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Palm Beach art dealer was in federal court Friday to face multiple charges in connection with a scheme to sell high-end counterfeit artwork.
The case involves the Danieli Gallery on Worth Avenue, which was raided by federal agents led by the FBI and its art crime team in December.
art dealer Daniel Elie Bouaziz is accused of selling paintings and other works of art that he falsely marketed as original or authentic pieces by several prominent artists, according to a criminal complaint affidavit.
Officials said he attempted to smuggle fake artwork, claiming it was created by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, Banksy and Roy Lichtenstein.
Bouaziz is accused of selling fraudulent art from his galleries Worth Avenue – Danieli Fine Art and Galerie Danieli.
Federal investigators said the victims unknowingly purchased the fraudulent coins — some of which were inexpensive reproductions — in some cases for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Bouaziz is accused of buying reproductions at low prices from online auction sites, drastically marking up the prices, then reselling the works to the victims as originals.
Investigators said he used several tactics to deceive his victims, including falsifying the provenance of a work and adding a signature to a piece to make it appear authentic and increase its perceived value.
Bouaziz also laundered money he received from the fraudulent art scheme, according to the affidavit.