The affair was one of the biggest forgery cases in recent years. It involved a huge sum of money ($80 million), a very well respected gallery (Knoedler), and some of the biggest names in American art (Pollock, Rothko, and Co.). Today we learnt that Glarifa Rosales, one of the key defendants, will not go back to prison. After being detained for 82 days in 2013, she has been sentenced to three years on probation, 90 days of which will be home detention.
In 2013, art dealer Glafira Rosales pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion in the Manhattan Federal Court (See Glafira Rosales Pleads Guilty). She recognized that she played a central role in the sale of fake paintings by Rothko, Pollock, and De Kooning through the Knoedler gallery, which was forced to shut as a result of the scandal. For 15 years, Rosales took part in the sale of 63 forgeries executed by Chinese painter Pei-Shen Qian. Glafira Rosale and her partner, José Carlos Bergantiños Diaz, sold the paintings to Ann Freedman at Knoedler & Co., who subsequently sold them to collectors for hefty sums.
According to The Art Newspaper, the trial focused on the personal situation of Glafira Rosales, who claimed that at the time she was abused by her partner. During the trial, José Carlos Bergantiños Diaz was said to have masterminded the operation. Witnesses testified that he forced Rosales to sell the fake paintings by threatening to leave the country with her daughter. Diaz fled to Spain before the indictment. Likewise for Pei-Shen Qian, who is believed to have fled to China.