Thursday, January 11, 2018

 

 

 

Arizona man arrested for selling forged artworks

Roberts

TOWN OF WALLKILL – A Buckeye, Arizona man is in the Orange County Jail on charges of grand larceny and attempted grand larceny, both as felonies, for allegedly selling forged artworks.

Gerrell Roberts, 39, was arrested at Stewart Airport last Friday when he flew there believing he was collecting a check for $298,000 for artwork that he was selling.

The investigation began when a Town of Wallkill art dealer called State Police to report that two pieces of forged art may have been sold through his auction house. The dealer told police he had brokered a deal with Roberts, who was selling what he described as original Tom Wesselmann and Andy Warhol pieces that were part of his family’s art collection.

Both pieces were sold to a private collector in Connecticut and shortly thereafter, the art dealer was informed that the Wesselmann piece had been appraised and determined to be a forgery. The Warhol piece is still being examined.

The local dealer was also in possession of two other pieces of art from Roberts, a Jean-Michel Basquiat, “The Red King,” and a Moise Kisling piece, “Sophie.” Both of those were determined to be forgeries.

Investigators had the art dealer contact Roberts and tell him that he sold the two pieces for $298,000 and that he would have to travel to New York for payment.

Roberts was committed to the Orange County Jail in lieu of $90,000 cash bail or $200,000 bond.

 


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