CHICAGO, March 19 (UPI) -- Seven people have been indicted for allegedly selling thousands of counterfeit paintings, U.S. officials said Wednesday.
The U.S. attorney's office for the Northern District of Illinois said criminal charges were filed against three Europeans and residents of Florida, New York and Illinois.
The counterfeit ring is accused of selling paintings purportedly by such renowned artists as Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Roy Lichtenstein, Joan Miro and Andy Warhol through the Internet auction sire eBay.
Prosecutors said there are victims of the scheme in the United States, Canada, Australia, Europe and Japan.
Michael Zabrin of Northbrook, Ill., a principal in Fineartmasters and Zfineartmasters, was charged in one indictment. A second Northbrook man, James Kennedy, a principal in KFA of Illinois Inc., was charged in the second indictment together with an alleged distributor of counterfeit artwork based in New York.
"Con artists should not be confused with master artists," said U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. "Buyers of limited edition fine art prints, like all other buyers, are entitled to get what they pay for."