FORT PIERCE, Fla. (AP) — A South Florida art dealer was sentenced Tuesday to two years and three months in federal prison in connection with a scheme involving the sale of fake Andy Warhol paintings.
Daniel Elie Bouaziz, 69, was sentenced in Fort Pierce federal court, according to court records. He pleaded guilty in February to a single count of money laundering, while prosecutors agreed to drop 16 other counts related to fraud and embezzlement. Bouaziz was fined $15,000, and a restitution hearing is scheduled for Aug. 16.
Prosecutors said Bouaziz, the owner of Danieli Fine Art and Galerie Danieli in Palm Beach County, sold counterfeit artworks to a customer in October 2021 including pieces purportedly by Warhol.
Bouaziz told the customer that the pieces, which he was selling for between $75,000 and $240,000, were authentic originals and that some were signed by the artist, investigators said.
Officials said the customer gave Bouaziz a $200,000 down payment that was deposited into Bouaziz’s account, and then the comingled funds were wired to other accounts.
Warhol was an American visual artist and filmmaker most associated with the pop art movement of the 1960s.