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Auctioneer of bogus art sentenced to five years in prison

October 26, 2010 |  1:57 pm

A TV show auctioneer has been sentenced to five years in prison for his role in selling thousands of works of fake art, including forged lithographs purportedly by Picasso, Chagall and Dali.

James Mobley, 63, of Woodland Hills, was sentenced in federal court Monday after pleading guilty to two felony counts of conspiracy and willful failure to file a tax return.

He is the third person to be sentenced to prison for an elaborate scam that brought in more than $20 million and duped more than 10,000 collectors across the country.

The televised show "Fine Art Treasures Gallery," which aired on DirecTV and the Dish Network, claimed to sell art found at “estate liquidations all over the world” but in fact offered bogus works of art in auctions that were rigged to drive up prices, prosecutors said.

Kristine Eubanks, of La Cañada Flintridge, and her husband, Gerald Sullivan, were sentenced earlier this year to seven years and four years in prison, respectively, after pleading guilty to selling the bogus works of art with forged signatures and manipulating the auctions of legitimate pieces from 2002 to 2006.

-- Tony Barboza