The New York art dealer Glafira Rosales, who has been charged with tax evasion and money laundering in connection with selling alleged Abstract Expressionist art forgeries for millions of dollars to the Knoedler and Julian Weissman galleries, is apparently cooperating with the federal law enforcement authorities.
On Monday, Rosales was released on bail, after being held without bail as a flight risk since her May arrest. Meanwhile, a superseding criminal indictment filed on Wednesday contains details that could only be known by someone involved in the alleged fraud. Rosales’s lawyer in several civil lawsuits, Anastasios Sarikas, says, “Anyone could connect the dots… I guess the cat’s out of the bag.”
“Some of the details in the new indictment could only have come from [Rosales],” says Nicholas Gravante Jr of Boise, Schiller & Flexner, the lawyer for the former director of Knoedler gallery Ann Freedman, a defendant in several lawsuits alleging that she and Knoedler knowingly sold fakes. He added that Freedman “was the central victim of this criminal scheme”.
Details in the new indictment include the allegation that an unnamed painter in Queens had painted fakes at the “specific request” of Rosales’ boyfriend—described as a co-conspirator though not charged with any crime in the indictment—and the allegation that the boyfriend, “upon receiving the Fake Works from the Painter… would subject the Fake Works to various processes, such as heating them, cooling them, and exposing them to the elements outdoors, in an attempt to make the Fake Works seem older than, in fact, they were”.
According to the indictment, the boyfriend met the Queens artist when he “observed the Painter selling works of art on a lower Manhattan street”. It also lists eight checks totalling $50,400 paid from the account of King’s Fine Arts, one of Rosales’ companies, to the painter between 2005 and 2008, and a $15,000 wire transfer to the painter’s account in 2007. It is unlikely that the source of the new allegations is the boyfriend, who is reportedly overseas.
When asked whether Rosales had negotiated a deal with the government and had plans to change her “not guilty” plea to “guilty,” Sarikas said: “One does not cooperate with the intent of going to trial”.
Rosales’s criminal tax attorney had no comment. Her other criminal lawyer, Steven Kartagena, did not respond to inquiries.