What Is the Penalty for Selling Counterfeit Art in Florida?

Those in the art business know that real, genuine pieces can go for millions of dollars. Investing in art can be an extremely lucrative pastime — to the point where the savvy collector can outperform the stock market. But what if you start cheating? What if you sell artwork that isn’t even genuine? Could you face actual prison time for selling someone counterfeit art in Florida? The answer may surprise you.

Man Faces Up to 20 Years for Selling Counterfeit Art

If you’re wondering how many years in prison you can get for selling counterfeit art, consider a recent example of this offense in Florida:

On February 21st of 2023, it was reported that a Palm Beach art dealer had pleaded guilty to money laundering and wire fraud for selling counterfeit art. As alleged by the Justice Department, this individual had sold artwork that he claimed was produced by Andy Warhol. These pieces were sold for between $75,000 and $240,000. One customer provided the art dealer with $200,000 as a down payment for the artwork. These funds were then wired into other accounts and commingled with other funds. This shows how serious this offense can be.

Man Sentenced to Five Years of Probation for Selling Counterfeit Native Art

On March 2nd of 2023, it was reported that a man had been sentenced to five years of probation for selling counterfeit artwork that he fraudulently labeled as “Native American Indian Handmade.” The artwork was in fact produced by a company in the Phillippines that had no affiliation with any Native American tribe. The US Attorney in charge of this case stated:

“Fraud can come in many forms but always carries the intent to deceive a victim. Offenders like this defendant victimize both our cherished Native American community and consumers who believe they’re collecting authentic pieces of Native American culture. We will not stand idle while someone takes advantage of our citizens and our federal resources.”

Counterfeit Art is Extremely Common

Most people have no idea how common counterfeit art really is. One article from 2014 boldly claimed that half of all art is fake. The problem is that this claim is very difficult to verify since most forgeries are actually quite convincing. It takes an expert to identify a forgery — and there are only so many experts to go around. The truth is that many people get away with art forgery — while others buy and resell forged art without ever realizing that they were handling an inauthentic piece. This could serve as a viable defense strategy in court.

Where Can I Find a Qualified, Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Largo?

If you’ve been searching for a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney in Florida, look no further than Trevena Pontrello & Associates. We know that fraud and counterfeit charges can be incredibly distressing — especially if you haven’t actually done anything wrong. With our help, you can protect your reputation while fighting for your rights in an effective manner. Book your consultation today to get started with an effective action plan.


  1. https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdfl/pr/palm-beach-art-dealer-pleads-guilty-laundering-money-art-fraud-scheme
  2. shttps://www.justice.gov/usao-wdtx/pr/houston-area-man-sentenced-selling-mailing-counterfeit-native-american-goods
  3. https://www.widewalls.ch/magazine/more-then-half-of-art-is-fake


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Largo FL 33770
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