MOSCOW, March 27 - RAPSI. The Izmailovsky District Court of Moscow has sentenced a Moscow artist and his daughter to four and two years in prison, respectively, for counterfeiting paintings and selling them for 20 million rubles ($650,000), RAPSI reports from the courtroom on Wednesday.

According to investigators, Alexander Chernov organized a gang that included his daughter and his twin brother, whose case has been closed due to his death.  The Chernov brothers, both professional artists, counterfeited paintings and drawings, and hired another artist to make more fakes.

They then found buyers for the fakes that they claimed to be the authentic works of Russian avant-garde artists from the early 20th century.  Chernov's daughter Dina Chernova negotiated with the buyers using a different name and claimed that the paintings were authentic and brought from Samarkand.

According to the investigators, the fraudsters have sold over 800 pieces - some of them attributed to Kazimir Malevich - worth over 20 million rubles.
The victims have filed claims worth the same amount.

The court ruled Chernov guilty of fraud on a grand scale, committed by a criminal group, and sentenced him to four years in prison. His daughter was convicted on the same charges as well as for the illegal purchase and storage of narcotics. She will serve a two year-sentence in prison.