Earlier this month, New York antiquities dealer Mehrad Sadigh was arrest and charged with scheming to defraud, grand larceny, criminal possession of a forged instrument, forgery and criminal simulation. Mehrad has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
After being alerted to the matter, undercover agents purchased two ‘antiquities’ for $4000 each. Once confirmed that they were not as reported, investigators went to the gallery and found hundreds of fake artifacts on display. Even more troubling was the discovery of thousands more in other rooms and the tools needed to make the newly created items look old.
According to prosecutors, his actions had been going on for years. One can only imagine how many people have been taken by the scam, not to mention how much money was lost. Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. stated that “For many years, this fake antiquities mill based in midtown Manhattan promised customers rare treasures from the ancient world and instead sold them pieces manufactured on-site in cookie-cutter fashion.” The gallery’s website states that “All of our antiquities are guaranteed authentic.” I guess they were all authentic – authentic fakes!