A 35-year-old Renton man was arrested this morning for allegedly selling counterfeit Dale Chihuly art through the Internet, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
According to a criminal complaint, Michael Little sold various pieces of glass art and paintings that he represented were the work of Chihuly via eBay in 2011 and 2012. The artwork bore a signature that appeared to be that of Chihuly and Little provided paperwork that he said authenticated the pieces as the work of the artist, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release.
However, an expert in Chihuly’s work examined the pieces at the request of a purchaser and determined they were fakes. The papers that were supposed to authenticate the works were also allegedly forged, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Trafficking in counterfeit goods is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Little’s arrest follows an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. He is scheduled to make his initial appearance in U.S. District Court this afternoon.