Dealer Wanted For Art Fraud Found In Spain

An art dealer suspected of art fraud has been arrested in Spain. According to ABC News, Jose Carlos Bergantinos Diaz, a Spanish art dealer who was suspected of selling millions of dollars of counterfeit work, has been accused of selling for more than 15 years. Diaz is wanted in the U.S. for art fraud, and he reportedly didn’t work alone.

According to the Washington Post, Diaz’s partner, Glafira Rosales, was arraigned in New York in August for “peddling counterfeit art” for 15 years. “The indictment charged Rosales with several offenses, saying she had charged two Manhattan art galleries more than $30 million for 63 pieces of fake art.”

ABC News stated that the fake paintings where allegedly done by an unnamed painter out of his studio apartment. The art galleries and purchasers were told by Diaz and Rosales that the pieces belonged to an unnamed collector. “Around 50 of the works were said to belong to a person of Eastern European descent who supposedly inherited the paintings from a relative.”

Prosecutors reportedly stated that the art galleries who purchased the fake artwork sold the pieces for $80 million dollar, making nearly $48 million in profits. Diaz was arrested by Spanish police on Friday at a luxury hotel in downtown Seville. According to the New York Times, Diaz’s brother, Jesus Angel Bergantinos Diaz was also arrested.

The Guardian reported that the Spanish interior ministry said Diaz was so surprised by his arrest that he needed medical attention. Reports are now saying that Diaz did have an anxiety attack at the time of his arrest and was hospitalized for a short time.

Reports state that Diaz is expected to appear before a judge sometime this week. At that time the judge will decide whether or not to extradite Diaz to the US. As of Sunday, it wasn’t clear as to whether or not Diaz had retained a lawyer to represent him in either Spain or in the US according to the New York Times.

Stay with The Inquisitr as more information becomes available on the case of the man suspected of art fraud.

[Image via Shutterstock/Tashatuvango]