Alleged Master Forger and Fake High-Price Paintings

ABC News tracks man authorities call master art forger to studio in Shanghai.
6:39 | 07/18/14

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Transcript for Alleged Master Forger and Fake High-Price Paintings
On the streets of New York the business of fakes and knockoffs is -- Take 200 dollar ray ban sunglasses for thirty dollars. All. Think 2000 dollar Louie that's and -- for 75 dollars. -- 101000 dollar Rolex Watches for eighty down. Because -- good. Most of the customers know -- are getting things. And it's rare for anyone to -- arrest. But our story tonight is about a series of -- that sold for tens of millions of dollars to people who didn't know they were buying things. All created by an elderly Chinese immigrant and part time construction worker who once could be found here in Times Square. Doing drawings of tourists for about ten dollars -- But as we founded our ABC news investigates. The artist is now a long way away from Times Square and our efforts to unravel the mystery of this massive scheme took us from New York's elite art world. Billionaire collectors and London to accused fake art dealers in Spain. All the way to China. The hiding place for the little known artist who is -- the art world upside down with his masterful things. In this case the accused forge your created look -- of some of America's most prominent artists including the late Mark Roscoe. Whose iconic blocks of color sell for millions of dollars this real Roscoe sold for 56 million dollars in day. A perfect time to turn out the thanks. Here are images of -- real Roscoe and a fake Roscoe created by the accused Times Square for teacher. The real one on the right sold for three million dollars the fate on the left. Actually sold for more. Eight million dollars. I thought about it pretty good Roscoe and I'm not alone I'd like to see the original fortress are critically nothing says a lot of so called art experts are taken in by the -- The great collectors of -- goes the greatest connoisseurs of Roth goes. Lot of them when they first saw them until they found that there were forgeries. The Times Square copycat also target of the works of Jackson Pollock whose technique of drips -- splashes of -- captivated the art world. Figuring out that are can be made that -- what matters but of course it opened them up to forgeries big time because -- can splash paint him. Here are images of our real Jackson -- lake. And one created by the accused Times Square for -- the real and on the right sold for 58 million dollars last year. The fate on the left sold years ago for two million dollars according to court records the fake art created by the Chinese artist sold for a total of more than eighty million dollars over the last decade. The -- were first spotted by a billionaire collector in London. Pierre LaGrange who was having his art appraised as he went through a divorce and expert determined that the type of yellow paint it's -- Jackson public. Purchased for seventeen million dollars was produced years after Jackson Pollock had died after pictures made with. -- that didn't exist when the artist with a lot that's a pretty good that's probably a -- The grange bought his fate Jackson public through the once prestigious Knoedler gallery in New York City -- he sued saying in his lawsuit the gallery knew or should have known it was selling a thing. He later settled with Miller the gallery denies knowing it was a fake saying it was -- to. -- went out of business after 165. Years. Day after the expert hired by LaGrange reported that the -- was a fake real consequences and reputation -- have been ruined. All along that's what from a finger pointing back for -- strike that had put the blame on them and often don't election and at the center of the scam authorities say is this New York club. -- fearless -- self described art dealer who along with her boyfriend first approached the Chinese artist. And got him to begin turning out the thinks she is pleaded guilty to federal fraud and tax charges and is now cooperating with the government. Her boyfriend named Jose -- continues -- was arrested in Spain and the US charges and -- While he awaits extradition to the United States he has deny any wrongdoing and told local reporters he's not worried about the case. As for the artist he disappeared from his home in Queens New York when news reports first surfaced about the massive forgery scheme. So we tracked him back to job. To a neighborhood on the outskirts of Shanghai and his small studio in this high -- apart. His name this -- keep him and he talked for the first time on television about the fate and the investigation. With that -- of ABC news in Salinas on my intent -- from -- -- innings to be sold the real thing they were just copies but upping your home if you like it it was paid between five and 8000 dollars according to the indictment against them. For pains which later sold for millions of dollars -- if you look at my bank account. You'll see there was no income I'm still looking for artist do you think -- -- name all with this. -- and has admitted he forged the signatures of the painters he copy yet he insisted ABC news he was stunned. So many people in the art world would be fooled by his fake -- goes and politics. -- copies were just supposed to mimic them on a basic level so -- very shocked that people mix them up. But mix them -- they did. Outside -- recent Sotheby's auction of abstract art world. We set up an -- with images of a fake Protsko and -- real -- -- those attending the auction could spot before and definitely one. In the leather -- -- that they villain in the right nine saying I'm the main thing is connected to. I have roster of pretty well it's not easy they're really and -- -- the naked -- I'm. -- People thought timber supply master works before they knew they were fakes people thought these are great works of art we put them up and -- -- doesn't matter. I think it only matters -- it teaches us something really important which is -- we don't ask you look at works of art for the beauty for what they teach us visually. We look at them as autographs we look at them is priced -- As for -- and he's beyond the reach of the FBI and American law while staying in China. Where he says he continues to -- now it's his passion. But no longer producing any of those things. For Nightline this is Brian Ross ABC news New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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