Palm Beach art dealer sentenced to 27 months in prison in high-end art fraud

Published: May. 30, 2023 at 6:10 PM EDT
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A town of Palm Beach art dealer was sentenced to 27 months in prison after laundering money derived from his scheme to sell counterfeit artwork, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Tuesday.

Daniel Elie Bouaziz, 69, was the owner of art galleries in South Florida, including Danieli Fine Art at 226A Worth Avenue and Galerie Danieli at 230 Worth Avenue in the town of Palm Beach.

He pleaded guilty on Feb. 21. U.S. District Judge Aileen M. Cannon in Fort Pierce sentenced Bouaziz and ordered him to pay a $15,000 fine. The restitution hearing is set for Aug. 16.

On Oct. 25, 2021, Bouaziz sold counterfeit artwork to a customer to include pieces purportedly by artist Andy Warhol out of his Palm Beach art galleries, prosecutors said.

Bouaziz had told the customer that the works being sold for between $75,000 and $240,000 were authentic, original Warhol pieces, and some pieces were signed by the artist.

The customer purchased artwork from Bouaziz for a $200,000 down payment. The money was deposited into Bouaziz’s account and comingled funds were wired to other accounts, to include an account controlled by Bouaziz, prosecutors said.

Federal investigators revealed in Maythe scheme and he was indicted in July 2022.

FBI Miami, West Palm Beach Resident Agency and IRS-CI Miami investigated.

If you believe you have been a victim of art fraud, please contact the FBI’s Art Crime Team at 1-800-CALL-FBI.

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