The Press Association this week issued a story where police have been able to recoup £900,000 from a convicted fraudster who was able to perpetrate the highest echelons of the antiques trade as well as other luxury goods outlets, namely Bonham’s, Christie’s and Sotheby’s. Iranian Shahra Marsh was jailed for six years in October 2008 for presenting £2 million worth of fraudulent cheques and posing as a member of the jet set in order to secure jewellery, designer goods and antique furniture.
Scotland Yard said that they had so far recovered £900,000 worth of goods which included £500,000 of jewellery and antique furniture which has been returned to owners and a further £400,000 that will be sold off to pay back others who were exposed to the con.
Marsh reportedly posed as a wealthy aristocrat to gain people’s confidence then used bogus cheques to pay for luxury items. Among some of the items she collected on her spree was some rare diamond jewellery, Louis Vuitton trunks, four Hermes bags and a Hermes clock; also an antique chest of drawers and four paintings.
The police went on to warn others intent on future frauds of this kind that the police would use their powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act to recoup any money obtained through fraud.
Where high end antique furniture becomes increasingly exposed to frauds of this kind, reputable antique dealers in Cumbria, Lancashire and across the UK go to extreme lengths to ensure good provenance on the pieces they sell.
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