Florida Art Dealer Admits to Selling Counterfeit Andy Warhols

Daniel Bouaziz, the owner of two Palm Beach art galleries, is accused of buying cheap reproductions online and reselling them as originals at vastly inflated prices.

Two rows of colorful screen prints hung on a wall, as visitor walks by
Andy Warhol screen prints on display at the Andy Warhol Museum of Modern Art. (JOE KLAMAR/AFP via Getty Images)

A Florida art dealer pled guilty to a counterfeit artwork scheme which included the sale of numerous fake Andy Warhol pieces, according to a Feb. 21 statement from the U.S. Department of Justice.

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Daniel Bouaziz, who owns the Danieli Fine Art and Galerie Danieli art galleries in Palm Beach, Florida, admitted to selling counterfeit Warhol works for prices ranging from $75,000 to $240,000. According to the website for Danieli Fine Art, the gallery claims to sell works from renowned artists such as Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Willem de Kooning and Claude Monet.

The art dealer was first charged with art fraud in May, when a complaint filed by the FBI alleged that Bouaziz was selling counterfeit works he claimed were by artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Banksy, Keith Haring and Roy Lichtenstein. After an undercover agent purchased a supposed Warhol print for $25,000, Bouaziz told him: “I really gave you a fantastic price. You can only make money,” according to court filings.

The complaint detailed a number of victims who purchased works from Bouaziz, including a collector who bought alleged four pieces he believed were by Lichtenstein, Haring and Henri Matisse for $290,000 in April 2021. The collector called the pieces his “holy grail,” before presenting them to a New York gallery director who told him something “looked off.”

Bouaziz “purchased low-cost reproductions from online auction sites that he then resold to unsuspecting victims, as originals, at drastically increased prices,” according to the complaint, which noted how a supposed Basquiat painting listed by Bouaziz for $12 million matched a piece purchased online by the art dealer for $495.

In order to trick prospective buyers, Bouaziz allegedly provided falsified provenance information and certificates of authenticity stamped with the signature “Daniel Bouaziz, Certified International Fine Art Appraiser,” according to the U.S. Department of Justice, which indicted Bouaziz in July for mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering in connection to his sales of forged high-end works.

In an emailed statement, Howard Schumacher, an attorney representing Bouaziz, said “Mr. Bouaziz has been an art collector and enthusiast for most of his life. He remains committed to assuring all of his customers are made whole and moving forward with his life.”

Florida Art Dealer Admits to Selling Counterfeit Andy Warhols