A Pompano Beach, Fla., man was arrested Friday after he attempted to sell counterfeit Picasso, Matisse and John Singer Sargent paintings he stored in his home and a Massachusetts self-storage unit.
Luigi Cugini, 58, claimed to be the grandson of the late Joseph Coletti, a Boston-area sculptor. Court records show that during the six-month FBI investigation, Cugini showed his fake paintings to potential buyers. He claimed the paintings were worth millions.
An undercover FBI agent met with Cugini in May to negotiate the purchase of three of the paintings for $565,000, court documents show. All three were determined to be fakes. Police say Cugini even attempted to authenticate them with forged paperwork., which he mailed to the undercover officer. He’s been charged with one count of mail fraud.