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Renton man pleads guilty to selling fake Chihuly art

Post by Adam Lynn / The News Tribune on June 19, 2013 at 11:40 am |
June 19, 2013 11:51 am
A pierce of art Michael Little passed off as an authentic Chihuly. Photo courtesy of Department of Homeland Security
A pierce of art Michael Little passed off as an authentic Chihuly. Photo courtesy of Department of Homeland Security

A 35-year-old man will be sentenced in October after pleading guilty Wednesday to selling art he fraudulently claimed was created by Tacoma native Dale Chihuly.

Michael Little was convicted of one count of wire fraud during a hearing in U.S. District Court in Seattle, the U.S. Attorney’s Office reported.

Little faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

Federal investigators said Little bought various pieces of generic glasswork and artwork which he later advertised on the Internet as being the creation of Chihuly, who is world renown for his work in glass. Little also forged authentication paperwork, court records show.

Little made at least $40,000 selling the artwork, federal prosecutors said.

He was busted when a buyer had an expert examine some of the pieces and that person determined they were fakes, records show.

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