Police: Arizona Man Sold Fake Art in Hudson Valley
An Arizona man is accused of coming to the Hudson Valley to sell expensive fake art.
In Nov. 2017, State Police at Middletown were contacted by a Wallkill art dealer who reported that two pieces of forged art might have been sold through his auction house.
The dealer told police that he brokered a deal with 39-year-old Gerrell Roberts of Arizona who was selling what he described as original Tom Wesselmann and Andy Warhol pieces that were a part of his family’s art collection.
Both pieces were sold to a private collector in Connecticut.
Soon, the Wallkill art dealer was told the Wesselmann art was appraised and determined to be fake.
The Warhol art is still being examined.
The local art dealer was also in possession of two additional pieces of art from Roberts, a Jean-Michel Basquiat, “The Red King,” and a Moise Kisling, “Sophie.”
Both were determined to be fakes, police say.
At the direction of State Police, the Wallkill art dealer told Roberts his art sold for $298,000 and that he would need to travel to New York to collect his payment.
On Friday, Roberts was arrested at Stewart Airport. He was charged with grand larceny and attempted grand larceny, felonies. He was arraigned in the Town of Wallkill Court and remanded to the Orange County Jail in lieu of $90,000 cash bail or $200,000 secured bond.
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