Rockland man arrested in elaborate art scam

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A Rockland man faces federal charges Thursday in connection to a $5 million Internet art scam.Luis Amiel Jr. of New City is one of seven being charged with counts of fraud for allegedly selling 2,500 worthless works of counterfeit art well over fair market value.The charges come after a detailed two-year investigation led by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.He alleges that Amiel and others have been selling counterfeit prints as authentic over eBay. The counterfeit works included copies of prints by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol.The indictment against Amiel includes allegations that he and his partners in the U.S. and Europe were manufacturing prints, faking signatures, forging certifications and sending the bogus works to buyers through the U.S. Postal Service. Amiel will be arraigned in federal court in Chicago at the end of the month.

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