I’m just catching up to the indictment of a San Francisco art dealer, Pasquale Iannetti who was indicted in August on charges of wire and mail fraud for selling counterfeit works by Joan Miró. The indictment alleges Iannette acquired counterfeit prints, know they were fakes, and then duped customers into believing they were authentic. Pictured above is The Tilled Field, an authentic work, on display at the Guggenheim.
It is a great thing that this smuggling ring has been uncovered, but there was a detailed and difficult investigation. It seems Iannetti had connections to a larger fraud network with connections in not only San Francisco, but Illinios, Florida and New York. Part of the investigation involved U.S. postal inspectors who flew to Italy to secretly record a meeting with an alleged supplier, and used invisible ink to mark the suspected fakes in New York, and posed as buyers. Can the art trade do more to reform its own practices?
S.F. dealer accused of selling fake Miró prints [SF Chronicle]