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article imageJury indicts S.F. art dealer for selling fake Miró prints

By Kay Mathews     Aug 23, 2009 in Crime
San Francisco art dealer indicted by grand jury on Friday. Pasquale Iannetti charged with wire and mail fraud related to alleged sale of counterfeit prints by painter Miró.
Iannetti is the owner and operator of Pasquale Iannetti Art Galleries, Inc.
On Friday, reported that a federal grand jury indicted San Francisco art gallery owner Pasquale Iannetti on charges related to the alleged selling of counterfeit prints by Spanish painter Joan Miró.
Iannetti is the owner and operator of Pasquale Iannetti Art Galleries, Inc. located on Sutter Street in San Francisco’s Union Square. The defrauding of gallery customers occurred between 2001 and 2008. Iannetti claimed the limited edition prints were original Miró’s.
The grand jury alleged that Iannetti used various schemes to make the counterfeit prints appear real, including forged signatures and issuing “certificates of authenticity” to customers who purchased the prints.
An international art fraud investigation involving the FBI, U.S. Postal Service, and Spanish and Italian authorities began in 2006 and in due course uncovered Iannetti’s involvement along with other art dealers in several states. At Iannetti’s studio, an undercover postal inspector purchased a counterfeit Miró for $17,750 in 2007.
Federal authorities are seeking the extradition of Italian citizen Elio Bonfiglioli, who is believed to have distributed the fake Miró prints as well as counterfeit Chagall, Warhol, and Picasso prints.
The grand jury, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, charged Iannetti with seven counts of wire fraud and eight counts of mail fraud. The date for Iannetti’s initial appearance in federal court in San Francisco has yet to be set, and he is not currently in custody.
More about Miro, Iannetti, San Francisco, Indictment, Grand jury
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