Couple allegedly sold $200K in fake woodblocks, including some to York collector
A Hawaiian couple has been indicted for allegedly selling more than $200,000 in fake antique woodblocks and woodcuts to several collectors, including one from York County.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania unsealed an indictment Tuesday charging Earl Marshawn Washington, 60, and his wife, Zsanett Nagy, 31, with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, bank fraud and money laundering. Washington was also indicted on separate bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud charges.
The indictment alleges that between 2018 and 2021, Washington and Nagy sold counterfeit antique woodblocks and woodcuts to various buyers and laundered the proceeds from the sales.
Washington was also charged with defrauding a collector of woodblocks from York County, who was not named. The indictment alleges that this collector paid Washington, who used the alias “River Seine,” and his girlfriend at the time $118,810 from 2013 to 2016 in exchange for approximately 130 woodblocks that were advertised as being several centuries old. The indictment alleges that at least some of these woodblocks were, in fact, made in the second half of the 20th century.
Washington and Nagy were also charged with defrauding a collector from Hummelstown, Dauphin County, who paid almost $85,000 for prints before discovering they were not from the 15th and 16th centuries as advertised.
The indictment seeks more than $200,000 from Washington and Nagy collectively, which is allegedly the amount they received from buyers of the counterfeit goods.