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Salander, 61, was also ordered to pay more than $114m (£71m) in restitution.

Back in March, a year after he was arrested, he was convicted of 29 charges of fraud, including selling paintings that neither he nor his gallery owned, selling three half shares of a single artwork, failing to notify investors when their artwork was sold, selling consigned works against the owner's wishes or below the authorised price, and lying on a $2m loan application.

Shortly after the Salander-O'Reilly Gallery closed down in October 2007 amid a blaze of legal controversy, Salander filed for bankruptcy, declaring debts of more than $50m. More than 30 civil law suits are seeking damages from Salander as well.

• Meanwhile, on August 2, unemployed British book dealer Raymond Scott was given an eight-year sentence for handling a stolen copy of Shakespeare's First Folio.

The book was taken from Durham University in 1998, but Scott, aged 53, of Wingate, County Durham, was cleared of stealing the book after claiming to have discovered it in Cuba.

However, last month at Newcastle Crown Court he was found guilty of handling stolen goods and removing stolen property from Britain after he had taken the copy to the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC, where staff called the police and the FBI.

Judge Richard Lowden said the book had been "defaced… to hide its true identity", something he branded "cultural vandalisation", adding that Scott had either deliberately damaged the book himself or had been party to its damage.

Scott also admitted the theft of two paintings worth around £1000 from the Fenwick department store in Newcastle in October 2008.