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Tuesday, 02 December 2014 11:51

Dealer of Fake Abstract Expressionist Paintings Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud

Jackson Pollock's 'Autumn Rhythm.' Jackson Pollock's 'Autumn Rhythm.'

An East Hampton man accused of selling dozens of fake paintings and sketches purported to be by famous artists, and using some of the money to buy a submarine, pleaded guilty in federal court on Monday to one count of wire fraud.

Prosecutors said the man, John Re, 54, claimed the pieces were by Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, and caused about $2.5 million in losses to victims. For nine years beginning in 2005, Mr. Re tricked art collectors by creating a false provenance, the document that shows the history of a piece of art, prosecutors said. He bought the submarine, which he called the Deep Quest, with the proceeds from a fake Pollock painting, they said.

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