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Wednesday, 14 November, 2001, 12:56 GMT
Art dealers charged with laundering
Boston skyline
The dealers face up to 20 year in prison if found guilty
Two Boston art dealers have been indicted on charges of laundering drug money.

Shirley D Sack, 73, an art wholesaler with offices in New York, and Arnold Katzen, 62, a principal at American European Art Associates, are accused of trying to sell two paintings for $4.1m (2.9m) in cash.

US Federal prosecutors arrested the pair after an undercover operation in which an agent posed as a drug dealer.

Prosecutors said Ms Sack and Mr Katzen tried to sell the agent Modigliani's Jeune Femme Aux Yeux Bleus for $2.5m (1.7m), and Edgar Degas' La Coiffure for $1.6m (1.1m).

The duo are alleged to have told the agent that they could resell the paintings overseas as part of the money-laundering scheme.

Conspiracy

They were charged in Boston on Tuesday.

If they are convicted on the money-laundering charges, both Ms Sack and Mr Katzen face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 (174,000).

Ms Sack has previously served five years in prison.

In 1978, known then as art dealer Shirley Machinist, she pleaded guilty to taking part in a conspiracy to sell stolen art works worth more than $250,000.

Six of the stolen paintings in the 1978 case had been burgled from the home of the former Harvard University president, Derek Bok.

See also:

27 Jun 01 | Arts
Ram raiders snatch art
02 Jan 01 | Europe
Art thieves demand ransom
14 Mar 01 | Entertainment
UK signs art theft convention
23 Dec 00 | Europe
Hunt for Stockholm art thieves
07 Nov 00 | UK
Great heists of our time
19 Dec 00 | Entertainment
UK hails art theft clampdown
01 Jan 00 | UK
The art of art theft
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