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Art counterfeiters indicted in U.S.

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March 22, 2008|From Reuters

Take a second look at that signed Picasso print you bought on EBay.

A ring of art counterfeiters has sold thousands of prints since 1999 bearing the forged signatures of Picasso, Miro, Dali and other famous artists to buyers around the world.

"Thousands of people will learn they . . . bought a fake," said Chicago-based U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, who announced indictments this week charging two Americans, a Spaniard from Barcelona, and two Italians from Milan and Monsummano with multiple counts of fraud.

Sale prices went as high as $50,000 for counterfeit prints that came with forged artists' signatures and fake certificates of authenticity that were sold in galleries, at art shows and through Internet auction site EBay, Fitzgerald said.

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