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Scammer Mutilated Precious Shakespeare Folio

Stolen $6M book ripped up to disguise it
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2010 3:40 AM CDT
Scamster Mutilated Key Shakespeare Folio
Raymond Scott, 53, leaves after the first day of his court case at Newcastle Crown Court, Newcastle, England.   (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)

(Newser) – One of the most valuable English-language books in existence is in tatters because of an unemployed book dealer's obsession with a Cuban waitress, prosecutors told a British court yesterday. Raymond Scott stole a 400-year-old first edition of Shakespeare's works from a university exhibition and then ripped out pages and destroyed its binding to disguise it, said prosecutors.

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Scott posed as an international playboy in an effort to sell it to the Shakespeare Library in Washington DC, and was arrested after staff became suspicious, the Telegraph reports. Experts were able to recognize the unique copy of the First Folio despite its "damaged, brutalized and mutilated" condition, the court heard. The prosecution said Scott had turned to crime after becoming infatuated with a waitress on a trip to Cuba and bankrupting himself by sending her large amounts of money. (Read more Raymond Scott stories.)

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