Led by Inspector Jack Ellis, the sting operation included the undercover purchase of 22 counterfeit works, and interviews with international art experts. The transaction and research led to a raid and the discovery of over 100,000 pieces of bogus art—or Bogart. Inspectors seized reproductions of work by Marc Chagall, Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró, and Pablo Picasso.
Postal Inspector Jack Ellis suspected that the 100,000 pieces of fake artwork seized in Operation Bogart were just the tip of the iceberg. He was right. More forgeries surfaced in 2008 when investigators nabbed Leon Amiel’s grandson and two accomplices in another sting operation.
Postal Inspector Jack Ellis discusses crime lab comparisons of an artist’s real signature and the clues paper can offer.
Postal Inspector Jack Ellis describes the undercover sting he and fellow inspectors used to crack the Amiel’s art fraud scheme.