NBC News has the first of what are likely to be many stories about Eric Ian Spoutz—who was confronted as recently as last September by The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Stephen Litt—and tge Federal fraud charges filed against him:
According to a federal complaint filed last week in New York, Spoutz, 32 — also known as Chad Smith, John Goodman and James Sinclair — sold dozens of works of art that he falsely claimed were by famous artists like Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline and Joan Mitchell, using forged documents to convince buyers of their authenticity.
He is charged with a single count of wire fraud and could face 20 years in prison if he’s convicted. The complaint doesn’t accuse Spoutz of having created the fakes, nor does it address who might have painted them.
According to the complaint, among the galleries and institutions with which Spoutz has successfully placed artworks are the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museums of American Art and American History; Dartmouth College; the Library of Congress; the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum; George Washington University; the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction; and the Florida State Capital.