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Antiques fraudster uses sham documentation in Poundland notebook to sell item estimated at £100,000

Aleksander Ribnikov was caught following a police investigation and is due to be sentenced for his crimes on September 29

Aleksander Ribnikov of Bear Road, Feltham, pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud(Image: Metropolitan Police)

An antiques fraudster has pleaded guilty to attempting to sell a number of items using sham documentation through auction houses, with one estimated at £100,000.

Aleksander Ribnikov, of Bear Road, Feltham , admitted two counts of fraud by false representation at Isleworth Crown Court on Friday (September 8).

In his first fraud attempt he produced a provenance document (authenticity document) which showed he had bought a Greek patera (shallow libation bowl) in 1987 from a man in Swansea.

The item was accepted for sale as dating back to the 4th or 5th century BC and estimated at between £80,000 to £100,000.

It transpired the alleged seller did not exist and the document was written in a Poundland notebook produced after 2013.

The offence was committed on November 30, 2016 against TimeLine Auctions Ltd in Harwich.

He was caught following an investigation by the Metropolitan Police Service's Art and Antiques unit which proved the provenance document was fake.

In the second fraud Ribnikov attempted to sell numerous antiquities through Christie's auction house in South Kensington using another false provenance document.

This time it showed he had bought the items in 1994, however, the provenance document was not accepted as genuine and the auction house did not agree to sell any of the items.

During the police investigation, the provenance document was provably false as the contact address did not exist.

Greek patera was estimated at £80k to £100k if sold at auction(Image: Metropolitan Police)

Robnikov is due to be sentenced on Friday September 29.

DC Sophie Hayes, from the Art and Antiques Unit, said: "Ribnikov was a determined fraudster trying to sell high value antiquities through UK auction houses without legitimate provenance documents.

"Thankfully he was stopped before these items were sold to unsuspecting buyers."

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