05/30/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/31/2023 14:05
Date: May 30, 2023
Palm Beach art dealer Daniel Elie Bouaziz was sentenced today to 27 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for laundering money derived from his scheme to sell counterfeit artwork. U.S. District Judge Aileen M. Cannon also ordered Bouaziz to pay a $15,000 fine. The restitution hearing is set for August 16.
Bouaziz was the owner of art galleries, to include Danieli Fine Art and Galerie Danieli, located at 226A and 230 Worth Avenue, respectively, in Palm Beach County, Florida. Bouaziz knowingly engaged in and attempted to engage in a monetary transaction, by, through, and to, a financial institution, affecting interstate and foreign commerce, in criminally derived property of a value greater than $10,000, such property having been derived from the unlawful sale of counterfeit art, using means of interstate commerce to carry out the sale and transfer of proceeds.
On October 25, 2021, Bouaziz sold counterfeit artwork to a customer, to include pieces purportedly by artist Andy Warhol ("Warhol") out of his Palm Beach art galleries. Bouaziz had told the customer that the works that he was selling, for between $75,000 and $240,000, were authentic, original Warhol pieces, and that some of the pieces were signed by the artist. Relying upon these false and fraudulent representations, the customer purchased artwork from Bouaziz. The customer gave Bouaziz a $200,000 down payment for the artwork. The money was deposited into Bouaziz's account and then the comingled funds were wired to other accounts, to include an account controlled by Bouaziz.
U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe for the Southern District of Florida, Special Agent in Charge Matthew D. Line of the IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), Miami Field Office, and Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey B. Veltri of the FBI, Miami Field Office, announced the sentence imposed by U.S. District Judge Cannon.
IRS-CI Miami, FBI Miami, and West Palm Beach Resident Agency investigated this matter. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah J. Schall is prosecuting this case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Peter A. Laserna and Daren Grove are handling asset forfeiture.
If you believe you have been a victim of art fraud, please contact the FBI's Art Crime Team at 800-CALL-FBI.