Man arrested on charges of selling fake Basquiat, Haring art

Northeast

Visitors pass in front of a painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat intitled “Boy and Dog in a Johnnypump” on May 7, 2010 in Basel. The Beyeler Foundation opens, on May 9, 2010, a large retrospective to mark the fiftieth birthday of the American painter and draftsman Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988). Originating from the New York underground, the artist had become world famous for his his expressive paintings by the age of twenty. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — A man who authorities say was trying to sell forgeries of works by artists including Jean-Michael Basquiat and Keith Haring was arrested on federal fraud charges.

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 record was detected as fraudulent.

An attempt to reach Pereda went unanswered and a message seeking comment was sent to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Brooklyn-born Basquiat rose to fame as a graffiti artist in the late 1970s.

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