CHICAGO (AP) — A suburban Chicago man has pleaded guilty to swindling at least 250 people out of more than $1 million through the online sale of counterfeit prints advertised as the work of Pablo Picasso and other major contemporary artists.
Michael Zabrin of Northbrook admits sometimes paying between $1,000 and $1,500 for counterfeit limited edition fine art prints produced in Spain and Italy and reselling them on eBay for many times that amount.
According to the plea agreement presented to Judge Robert M. Dow Jr, Zabrin purchased eight counterfeit works purportedly by Marc Chagall in 2004 for $20,000 “which he resold at no less than three times his cost.”
Zabrin was charged with trading in fake works and mail fraud. Sentencing is set for March 23.