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Florida gallery owner charged with peddling fake art pieces

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a Florida gallery owner has been arrested on federal charges for peddling fake art pieces, claiming the cheap reproductions were in fact originals by Andy Warhol, Banksy, Roy Lichtenstein, Jean-Michel Basquiat and others.

A complaint filed in South Florida federal court Thursday accuses Palm Beach art dealer Daniel Elie Bouaziz of mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering.

Bouaziz is a French citizen of Algerian descent. He was ordered released on $500,000 bail after an initial hearing Friday.

He has not yet entered a plea to the charges, according to court records.

Prosecutors said Bouaziz bought some of the reproductions online and then sold some for huge sums.

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