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Thursday, February 25, 2010

S.F. Art Dealer First Sentenced in Palm Springs Gay Grifter Case

Posted By on Thu, Feb 25, 2010 at 1:11 PM

Russell Manning
  • Russell Manning
Former San Francisco art dealer Russell Manning -- charged with conspiring with a crew of gay grifters to defraud a Palm Springs collector -- pleaded guilty to fraud charges and was sentenced today to five years in prison, according to Jessica Davis of City News Service, a Southern California newswire.

Last year SF Weekly reported in detail about a a Palm Springs fraud and murder case involving a crew of con men that had coalesced around Nepalese immigrant Kaushal Niroula of San Francisco. Former Union Square art gallery employee Manning, 68, was the last of six men arrested on charges they emptied the bank account and sold the home of Palm Springs art collector Cliff Lambert, 74, who has been missing since December 2008. Niroula and several of his cohorts have been charged with Lambert's capital murder. Manning, however, was only charged with fraud in connection with the looting of Lambert's assets.

Manning was the sixth suspect charged in the case. He had been held on unrelated drugs charges in a Guadalajara-area prison prior to his arrest by Palm Springs police last August.

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