NEW YORK (AP) — A former assistant to Jasper Johns has been charged with selling 22 works he allegedly stole from the artist's U.S. studio.

The Manhattan U.S. attorney's office announced the indictment against James Meyer on Thursday. He's charged with interstate transportation of stolen property and wire fraud.

Meyer was Johns' studio assistant for over 25 years. A phone number for his attorney couldn't immediately be located.

Prosecutors say Meyer removed the artworks from Johns' studio without his knowledge between 2006 and 2012. Meyer then allegedly took them to a Manhattan art gallery, where he provided the owner with fictitious authentication papers.

Prosecutors say the gallery sold 22 of the works for $6.5 million; half the proceeds went to Meyer.