New York art dealer pleads guilty to fraud

A New York art dealer has admitted her involvement in a 15-year scam that cost art buyers $80 million.

Glafira Rosales, 57, of Sands Point, appeared in a Manhattan court Monday and pleaded guilty to participating in a scheme to sell more than 60 fake works of modern art to New York art galleries.

From 1994 to 2009, Rosales sold 63 counterfeit paintings as newly discovered pieces by 20th century masters -- including Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Robert Motherwell -- to Manhattan galleries, earning her $33.2 million.

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The galleries in turn sold the pieces to buyers for $80 million.

The pieces were painted by one artist, who is not named in official documents, at his home in Queens.

Rosales pleaded guilty to nine counts, including wire fraud, money laundering and filing false federal income tax returns.

The charges carry a maximum sentence of 99 years, although Rosales has agreed to cooperate with the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service in hopes of leniency, the Associated Press reports.

Prosecutors expect to charge more people in the case, according to the AP.

In a plea agreement, Rosales will forfeit $33.2 million and her Sands Point home to pay restitution in a yet-to-be-determined amount not to exceed $81 million.

Her sentencing is set for March 18, 2014.