Two New York antiquities dealers were accused of creating fake histories for items they sold through auction houses. They allegedly used the identities of deceased collectors to make up the provenance of items.
Erdal Dere, 50, and his associate Faisal Khan, 47, were indicted on charges of defrauding buyers and brokers. They allegedly used the fake histories to sell antiquities through Fortuna Fine Arts, Dere’s Manhattan-based company.
In 2015, Dere allegedly fabricated documents to show ownership histories for antiquities in his company’s inventory and for new items that Khan purchased, mainly in Asia. Law enforcement officials said Khan was responsible for finding potential buyers for the items in the United States and abroad.
Dere was arrested in New York and charged with wire fraud, conspiracy and aggravated identity theft. Khan, who was arrested at his New Jersey home, was charged with wire fraud and conspiracy, which carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
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