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Fla. pastor convicted in NYC fake Hirst art case

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April 8, 2014 01:23 PM EST | AP


NEW YORK (AP) — A Miami pastor has been convicted in New York on charges he offered faked works of British art star Damien Hirst to an undercover officer.

Kevin Sutherland was convicted Tuesday of attempted grand larceny.

Prosecutors say Sutherland tried to sell two counterfeit examples of Hirst's circular "spin" paintings and three bogus Hirst "spot" prints for $185,000.

Sutherland maintained an auction house never clearly told him the artworks were fake. He said he didn't ask Hirst's studio to weigh in because its authentication process was pricey.

Sutherland leads a small nondenominational church.

He could face up to seven years in prison when he is sentenced on May 19.

His lawyer says they're disappointed and might appeal.

Hirst received Great Britain's best-known art award, the Turner Prize, in 1995.