LOS ANGELES – An art and antiques dealer has agreed to plead guilty to federal fraud charges related to a $2 million sale of a fabricated Picasso pastel.
In a plea agreement filed today in United States District Court, Tatiana Khan, 70, of West Hollywood, agreed to plead guilty to making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and witness tampering.
Khan, the owner and operator of the Chateau Allegré gallery on La Cienega Boulevard, admitted in the plea agreement that she paid an art restorer $1,000 to create a reproduction of work by Pablo Picasso – a 1902 pastel called “La Femme Au Chapeau Bleu,” or “The Woman in the Blue Hat.” Khan then sold the fake Picasso as an original for $2 million. Khan told the purchaser that the fake Picasso was worth much more than that, but that she was able to sell it for a good price because it came from the Malcolm Forbes family and, to keep the sales private, the Forbes family was willing to let Khan sell their artwork for prices well below their actual worth.
According to the plea agreement, Khan falsely told an FBI agent who was investigating the sale that Khan had obtained the drawing from an acquaintance. Khan also admitted that she told the art restorer to lie to the FBI by saying that she only did restoration work for Khan and did not do any copying work.
Khan is expected to appear before United States District Judge Manuel L. Real early next month to enter her guilty pleas to the two felony counts. After she pleads guilty, Khan will be facing a statutory maximum sentence of 25 years in federal prison, although the plea agreement contemplates a prison sentence of no more than 21 months in prison.
As part of her plea agreement, Khan has agreed to make full restitution to the purchaser of the fake Picasso, and to the forfeiture of a work of art by the Abstract Impressionist painter Willem de Kooning that Khan had purchased with some of the proceeds of her fraud.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
CONTACT: Assistant United States Attorney Ranee Katzenstein
Major Frauds Section
Assistant United States Attorney Richard Robinson
Major Frauds Section