NEW YORK — Three men have been arrested in a counterfeit art scheme that stole about $400,000 from unsuspecting buyers world-wide who believed they were getting limited edition prints signed by British artist Damien Hirst.
Manhattan prosecutors on Monday announced the indictment of 52-year-old Vincent Lopreto, of New Orleans, 34-year-old Marco Saverino, of Cottonwood, Arizona and 50-year-old Paul Motta, of Sedona, Arizona on grand larceny and scheme to defraud charges.
Information on their lawyers wasn’t immediately available.
Prosecutors say Lopreto used a stamp, printer and other tools to create the fake prints. They say the suspects advertised the fraudulent prints as originals for thousands of dollars.
Lopreto had earlier been sentenced to two to four years in prison for selling forged art pieces after pleading guilty to identity theft and scheme to defraud.