Wednesday, May 10, 2006

eBay Art Fraud

Wired News has an interview up with Kenneth Walton, the Sacramento lawyer who in 2000 sold a fake Diebenkorn on eBay for $135,000. Walton, who pleaded guilty to federal felony charges, lost his law license, and was banned for life from eBay, has a new book out about the story called Fake: Forgery, Lies, & eBay. He says in the interview that eBay has "really cracked down on shill bidding, and made it much more difficult for sellers to bid on their own items or (let) people they know bid on their own items. They put into place some very complex pieces of software to police that. I'm not going to say it's impossible anymore, but I think that's much tougher." There's a review of the book here. An earlier post of mine on eBay fraud, including one art dealer's claim that "the majority of things that appear on eBay are fakes," is here.