2 men sentenced in Germany for art forgery scheme

BERLIN (AP) — A German court has convicted a former businessman and an art gallery owner of fraud and falsifying documents for selling fake paintings attributed to Russian avant-garde artists including Vasily Kandinsky.

The dpa news agency reported Thursday the two men, aged 45 and 72, received jail terms of two years and eight months, and three years respectively in Wiesbaden start court. Their names weren’t reported.

The two were originally charged with selling 19 forgeries attributed to artists like Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich and Natalia Goncharova but the court ruled they could only prove fraud without a doubt in six cases. The men must also repay 1 million euros ($1.25 million) in profits.

German police said, when the men were arrested in 2013, that tips from Israel had prompted them to open the investigation.

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