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Man arrested on charges of selling fake Basquat, Haring art

July 10, 2021 GMT

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.