A London art dealer who stole tens of millions of dollars from clients who gave him works, including some by Pablo Picasso, to sell on consignment was sentenced to four to 12 years in prison by a New York judge.

Timothy Sammons, 63, used his businesses in London, New York and Zurich to swindle customers out of as much as $30 million, prosecutors said. He pleaded guilty to fraud and grand larceny.

Over five years, from 2010 to 2015, Sammons failed to turn over proceeds of sales and misled owners about when their pieces sold -- sometimes never saying they sold at all, prosecutors said at his sentencing in state court Tuesday.

Sammons used money from the sales to buy first-class airline tickets and racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in credit-card charges on an American Express Black Card, prosecutors said. Sammons funded expensive private club memberships with the money from his “larcenous crimes,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said.

“When brokering the sales of high-priced, one-of-a-kind paintings, Timothy Sammons had lying, scamming and stealing down to a fine art,” Vance said in a statement.

‘Buste de Femme’
Prosecutors said pieces that included Picasso’s “Buste de Femme” and “Reverie” by Marc Chagall also were used as collateral for loans. The art was sometimes sold at “vastly discounted prices” to satisfy Sammons’s debts and he used proceeds to repay other victims, they said.

Prior to handing down the sentence, state Supreme Court Justice Ann Scherzer called the case “very disturbing,” noting that the financial and emotional harm was serious. When she said Sammons had no remorse for his crimes, defense attorney David Touger interjected, saying, “He’s always been remorseful.”

“I asked him if he had anything to say and he said no,“ Scherzer responded.

Sammons, who was hunched over the table in tan prison fatigues, doubled-down on his attorney’s claims, saying he was always “extremely sorry for the the trouble I caused people.”

“It was not my intention to cause any grief at all,” he said. “This wasn’t supposed to happen.”

Touger denied that his client ever used the proceeds to fund a lavish lifestyle. The lawyer told reporters that Sammons “looks forward to getting out of jail and repaying his customers.”

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.