POLICE are in the process of returning £500,000 worth of antiques after a serial conwoman received a confiscation order earlier this month.
Jailed for six years for deceiving a large number of auction houses, dealers and high-value retailers, Shahra Marsh, 53, who lived in London’s West End and formerly Canary Wharf, pleaded guilty in October 2008 to 38 counts of criminal activity, including fraud, deception and concealment.
Adopting a highly convincing ploy where she pretended to be an affluent member of Parisian high society, she duped auctioneers and dealers primarily in Paris and Geneva, but also in London, by using the name Shahra Christina Sylvia Marsh de Savigny, showing false bank statements as proof of her apparent wealth and paying with dud cheques that would later bounce.
Items in her possession at the time of her arrest included expensive antiques, jewellery, furniture and luxury handbags.
Following the confiscation hearing on January 12, police are returning £500,000 worth of the seized goods to their rightful owners. The remaining assets, valued at £400,000, will be sold.
Among the items already returned are five framed paintings, a mirror, a brooch, a statuette and a marble-topped chest of drawers valued together at £115,000, which Marsh took from Paris auctioneers Tajan.
Two Louis Vuitton trunks, a Louis Vuitton bag, three Hermès bags, a Hermès ‘Birkin’ Alligator bag and a Hermès clock valued at £51,000, which were taken from fellow Paris auctioneers Gros & Delettrez, have also now been returned.
Additionally back with their rightful owners are an antique clock, a chest of drawers, a table and four framed paintings valued at £68,000, which were taken by Marsh from Beaussant Lefevre, also in Paris.