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Michigan art dealer gets over 3 years in prison for fraud

Associated Press logo Associated Press 2/16/2017

NEW YORK (AP) — A Michigan art dealer who claimed that dozens of forged art works he sold were by renowned American artists such as Willem De Kooning and Joan Mitchell has been sentenced to three years in prison.

New York federal Judge Lewis Kaplan sentenced Eric Spoutz Thursday. He also ordered him to forfeit $1.4 million.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Adams said the market for forgeries was "staggering" and others needed to know there is a price to pay for participating.

Adams said Spoutz had built a career on fraud and did not stop selling fake art until a year after the FBI approached him.

Prosecutors say the 33-year-old Mount Clemens, Michigan, resident sold dozens of forged artwork since at least 2006.

Spoutz apologized before the sentence was announced.

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