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Woman Jailed for Selling Fake Art on TV Auction Show

Kristine Eubanks, 52, got seven years in federal prison for selling counterfeit paintings through rigged, TV art auctions, that netted $20 million from about 10,000 victims, during 2002 – 2006.

Eubanks of La Canada Flintridge pleaded guilty in April 2007 to charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud, interstate transportation of stolen property and to filing a false income tax return and was sentenced Monday.

U.S. District Judge Gary A. Feess called the scheme “audacious in its scope” and “blatantly illegal”.

Eubanks and her husband, Gerald Sullivan ran Fine Art Treasures Gallery, which sold fake and forged lithographs, prints and paintings purportedly found at estate liquidations around the world to more than 10,000 victims, U.S. attorney’s spokesman Thom Mrozek said.

They bought the paintings from suppliers and sometimes signed the forgeries and prints with the artists’ names, said prosecutors.
Eubanks forged “certificates of authenticity” for some pieces and provided fake appraisals for jewelry pieces, said Mrozek.

Officials say that from 2002 to 2006, Fine Art Treasures Gallery falsely told customers that art sold on its television show was acquired at “estate liquidations all over the world.” The auction-television show aired Friday and Saturday nights on DirecTV and The Dish Network.

Eubanks’ husband, Gerald Sullivan, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and interstate transportation of stolen property for his part in the scheme. He is to be sentenced in May and faces a maximum sentence of six years in federal prison.

Authorities, have seized $3.8 million from the couple’s bank accounts, and are notifying “thousands of potential victims” who might have unknowingly purchased bogus works.