A man who was a recent mayoral candidate in Mexico was arrested in New York and accused of peddling four purported pieces by modern art icons Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, federal prosecutors said Friday.
The man, Angel Pereda, 49, was arrested Friday in New York based on an allegation of wire fraud in what federal law enforcement authorities described as an attempt to get millions of dollars in exchange for fake works of art, the U.S. attorney for Southern New York said in a statement.
Pereda, also known as Angel Luis Pereda Eguiluz, recently ran unsuccessfully for mayor of the central Mexican city of San Andrés Cholula, known for its proximity to the Great Pyramid of Cholula, according to Mexican news accounts.
News accounts indicate that he also runs an eponymous foundation.
No connection was made between the allegations against and Pereda campaign. An FBI agent investigating the case, Christopher McKeogh, noted in the criminal complaint that Pereda was the subject of “news articles referring to an apparent recent municipal election.”
The federal public defender’s office and the Mexican Consulate in New York City did not immediately respond to requests for comment.