Michael Little, 35, of Renton, Wash., recently pled guilty to wire fraud charges in connection with the sale of fake artwork online.
Following an investigation by the Seattle-Tacoma Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST Seattle), led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enfrocement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Little admitted that he had purchased generic glasswork and artwork online, then sold them on eBay claiming that they were works by Dale Chihuly.
Little added a signature that appeared to be Chihuly's, and included forged paperwork that claimed to authenticate the pieces as Chihuly's work -- but an expert in his Chiluly's work examained several of the pieces and determined that they were fakes.
According to court records, Little grossed at least $40,000 through the scam, which ran from 2011 to April 2013.https://o1.qnsr.com/log/p.gif?;n=203;c=204660766;s=9477;x=7936;f=201812281312070;u=j;z=TIMESTAMP;a=20392931;e=i
Little is scheduled to be sentenced on October 4, 2013. He faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.