That’s the lot for auc­tion scam­mers

7 Days in Dubai - - GLOBAL NEWS -

A Paris court has con­victed two auc­tion­eers and 33 other peo­ple work­ing for France’s big­gest auc­tion house in a vast, long-run­ning scam to steal thou­sands of valu­able items worth mil­lions of eu­ros. The works in­cluded a Courbet paint­ing, Cha­gall and Matisse lith­o­graphs, stage cos­tumes of fa­mous French mime artist Mar­cel Marceau, a Ming-pe­riod Chi­nese tray and a 2.08-carat di­a­mond. The case in­volved about 50 peo­ple who worked at Ho­tel Drouot, the big­gest and old­est French auc­tion house. They were charged with gang-re­lated theft, con­spir­acy to com­mit a crime or han­dling of stolen goods. One auc­tion­eer was handed a 12-month sus­pended pri­son term and a 30,000 euro fine and the other an 18-month sus­pended pri­son term and a 25,000-euro fine. Two auc­tion­eers were ac­quit­ted. Of the 33 auc­tion work­ers con­victed, 19 were sen­tenced to pri­son terms from six months to 18 months and the other 14 were given sus­pended sen­tences. Twenty-seven were sen­tenced to fines from 5,000 to 60,000 eu­ros. Eight auc­tion work­ers were ac­quit­ted. The court or­dered the dis­so­lu­tion of the com­pany that em­ployed the auc­tion work­ers and worked with Drouot.

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