Trial set for Fife antiques dealer accused of stealing from clients

Dundee Sheriff Court
Dundee Sheriff Court

A Cupar antiques dealer is to stand trial accused of stealing valuable objects from dozens of clients and scamming two customers out of more than £20,000 by inflating the value of paintings he sold them.

Kenneth Robb formerly ran Kingdom Antiques in Bonnygate, Cupar.

However, he now stands accused of dishonesty offences against his customers dating back as far as 2005.

Prosecutors say that between January 1, 2005, and July 31 last year, Robb (71), of Blalowan Gardens, Cupar, took property from a total of 44 clients on the condition that he would sell them in his shop for a fee.

The items include paintings, jewellery, watches, musical instruments, antiques, clothing, sporting equipment, cameras and books.

Over that 11-year period he is alleged to have told customers he would sell the property and pass on the proceeds to them but instead “disposed of the items by means unknown” and stole it.

Robb also faces allegations that he defrauded £17,000 from Louise Seymour over the purchase of a painting in January or February 2006.

He is alleged to have told her the picture was valued at £25,000 but offered it at a “discounted” rate of £17,000 when it was in fact worth less than £1000.

Robb is said to have repeated the trick on August 15, 2011, allegedly telling Josephine Donnelly that a painting in his shop was valued at £6500, but that he would sell it to her at a discounted price of £4500.

However, prosecutors say the true value was only £500 and that he obtained £4500 from her by fraud.

Robb today (Friday) denied 44 charges of theft and two of fraud on summary complaint at Dundee Sheriff Court.

Sheriff Alastair Carmichael set a trial date in late March and ordered Robb to appear at a pre-trial hearing earlier that month.