New York - A Spaniard who masterminded a $80m art forgery scam out of a seedy Queens apartment has been arrested and charged with peddling a load of fraudulent old Jackson Pollox.
FBI agents pounced on José Carlos Bergantinos Diaz, 69, last Friday while he was sunning his tootsies on board a large white yacht moored in the luxurious Southern Spanish holiday resort of Marbella.
Today Diaz was being indicted for extradition back to NYC where his former partner Glafira Rosales is out on bail following a dramatic arrest last August.
Details seen by NewsCorpse stringers show Diaz charged with scamming two Manhattan galleries in a blatant scheme involving 63 individual 'artworks' worth in excess of $30m.
Apparently the forgeries had been so brilliant and superbly executed that collectors flocked in droves to Upper East Side galleries to throw away their hard earned millions...on 'genuine' 20th century abstract expressionist twaddle.
Cops have said virtually all the forged canvases had now been accounted for despite a number of 'alarmist' calls from the DC Smithsonian's insurers asking whether anything might have slipped the Feds' net.
A typical Rothko abstract painting sells at auction for around $10m.