Artist Says Vegas Men|Are Forging His Work

     LAS VEGAS (CN) — Renowned artist Marco Sassone doesn’t do lithographs, so he’s sued a Las Vegas business and four men he says are selling faked and forged lithographs as his original works.
     Sassone, 74, born in Italy, was knighted by the Italian president in 1982, and honored with a Marco Sassone Day in San Francisco in 1994, for his work as an artist in California. He now lives in Toronto. Most of his works are in watercolor, oil, or serigraph, but he has never done lithographs, he says in the Sept. 2 lawsuit in Clark County Court.
     In 1979, a monograph was published, with more than 100 photos of his copyrighted works. Sassone says defendants Darrell T. Coker and Darrell R. Coker Jr. obtained a copy of the book.
     No later than 2008, Sassone says, the Cokers and their co-defendants “began intentionally imitating and producing fraudulent lithographs from the images in the monograph book,” without his permission.
     Also named as defendants are Richard J. Morello, Darryl McCullough, and And The Jello’s Jigglin dba Postal Annex, all of Clark County.
     No contact information could be found for the Cokers or for And The Jello’s Jigglin dba Postal Annex.
     The complaint lists 124 artworks Sassone says were illegally copied, most of them oils, and 10 websites through which they were sold.
     He says the defendants “conspired, confederated and agreed to engage in a scheme of participating in the conducting and/or operating an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity.”
     They created websites and auction houses, advertise fake lithographs as Sassone’s original works, forged his signature and sold the “sham lithographs” to customers through their websites and auction houses, according to the complaint.
     Sassone seeks an injunction and compensatory and punitive damages for RICO violations, deceptive trade and violations of right of publicity and works of art.
     He is represented by Dominic Gentile, with Gentile Cristalli Miller Armeni and Savarese.

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