MIAMI (AP) - Two people have pleaded guilty in Miami federal court to charges involving the attempted sale of a Henri Matisse painting stolen from a Venezuelan museum.
Prosecutors said Wednesday the pleas were entered by 46-year-old Pedro Antonio Marcuello Guzman of Miami and 50-year-old Maria Martha Elisa Ornelas Lazo of Mexico City. Marcuello faces a maximum 10-year prison sentence, while Ornelas faces up to five years.
Court records show that FBI agents and an informant posing as art dealers were negotiating the sale for $740,000 of "Odalisque in Red Pants" with Marcuello in Miami. The painting was discovered stolen from Venezuela's Caracas Museum of Contemporary Art in December 2002. The original work was swapped with a forgery.
Prosecutors say Ornelas brought the painting to a Miami Beach hotel from Mexico City.
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