March 26, 2023

Palm Beach Art Dealer Pleads Guilty to Laundering Money from Art Fraud Scheme

Palm Beach Art Dealer Pleads Guilty to Laundering Money from Art Fraud Scheme

MIAMI – Palm Beach art dealer Daniel Elie Bouaziz pled guilty today to laundering money derived from his scheme to sell counterfeit artwork.

Bouaziz is the owner of art galleries in South Florida, including Danieli Fine Art (at 226A Worth Avenue) and Galerie Danieli (at 230 Worth Avenue), in Palm Beach County. According to the agreed-upon factual proffer in support of Bouaziz’s guilty plea, Bouaziz knowingly engaged in and attempted to engage in a transaction through a financial institution affecting interstate commerce of over $10,000 in money derived from the unlawful sale of counterfeit art in violation of the wire fraud statute.

Specifically, on or about 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. 

Bouaziz’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 30, 2023 at 9:30 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Aileen M. Cannon, in Fort Pierce.

U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe for the Southern District of Florida, acting Special Agent in Charge Maged Behnam of the FBI Miami Field Office, and Special Agent in Charge Matthew D. Line of the IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Miami Field Office made the announcement.

FBI Miami, West Palm Beach Resident Agency and IRS-CI Miami 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 the asset forfeiture aspect of this case.

If you believe you have been a victim of art fraud, please contact the FBI’s Art Crime Team at 1-800-CALL-FBI.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov, under case number 22-cr-80099.

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Originally published at https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/miami/news/palm-beach-art-dealer-pleads-guilty-to-laundering-money-from-art-fraud-scheme