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His name is Philip Righter (43), the Californian man who pleaded guilty to the Florida federal court for allegedly attempting to sell more than $ 6 million in counterfeit art. The man already had precedents, in fact, already last year he had been indicted in Florida on charges of postal fraud and aggravated identity theft in an attempt to sell counterfeit works by Basquiat and Keith Haring, among other accusations.

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Now he faces further federal charges in the central district of California, where he has been accused of selling fakes which he has attributed to Basquiat, Haring, Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein and here too has agreed to plead guilty. From the California office, it would also appear that the man reported stealing $ 2.6 million in artwork and falsely claiming that he donated artwork to a charity, leading to over $ 100,000 in repayment tax.

Righter tried to sell the fake works between 2016 and 2018, California prosecutors said. He initially sold the pieces using his real name but started using other names after the FBI and the Los Angeles Police Department interrogated him in August 2016, after his attempt to sell fake works to a gallery. of Miami art. In the California case, Mr. Righter “admitted using fake paintings as collateral for loans on which he later defaulted, and using fraudulent pieces for fraudulent write-offs on his income tax returns,” the statement said. He “agreed to plead guilty to the three felony offenses,” it added. (from The New York Times)

On the other hand, going specifically to the case in Florida, when Righter was arrested last August as he had been accused of fraud and identity theft charges in the south of the state, where he seemed to have attempted to sell counterfeit works of art obtained through online markets such as eBay, for over $ 1 million to a gallery owner there. According to this accusation, Mr Righter purchased counterfeit and fraudulent works of art, claiming that some of them bore the signatures of prominent artists. He also created fraudulent letters certifying their authenticity and embossed them, he said.
 

Cover image: Philip Righter at an Oscar viewing party in Beverly Hills, Calif. He tried to resell artwork he had bought off sites like eBay, the authorities said. Credit Amy Graves/Getty Images for Charmaine Blake

Stay Tuned on Kooness magazine for more exciting news from the art world.
 

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