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Fake: Forgery, Lies, & Ebay
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Fake: Forgery, Lies, & Ebay

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  107 ratings  ·  22 reviews
It was the golden age of eBay. Optimistic bidders went online to the world's largest flea market in droves, ready to spend cash on everything from garden gnomes to Mercedes convertibles. Among them were art collectors willing to spend big money on unseen paintings, hoping to buy valuable pieces of art at below-market prices. EBay also attracted the occasional con artist un ...more
Hardcover, 296 pages
Published April 25th 2006 by Simon Spotlight Entertainment (first published 2006)
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Average rating 3.68  · 
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 ·  107 ratings  ·  22 reviews


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Roberta
Oct 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
I picked up this book for a few cents at a library sale and it turned out to be a very readable book. I buy a lot of stuff on eBay so nothing here was much of a surprise to me but it was interesting to see how a sort of regular-guy, who was smart enough that he could have earned a living honestly, can slip down the slope of immaturity and fall into the pit of dishonesty and greed. It is also interesting to note how difficult it is for people, even experts, to tell the difference between valuable ...more
Ronnie Cramer
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Perversely fascinating tale of a lawyer who tosses his ethics aside and sells questionable paintings on Ebay. Before long he's actually committing fraud and forgery and as readers we are right there watching his life, reputation and career go down the drain. ...more
Kwame Webb
Jan 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is definitely not an example of innovative literature, but it is a fun story. It highlights the importance of experimenting with innovative tech and platforms and trying to do what one innately enjoys. On a more serious note it highlights so many stories of crime and fraud. Quietly ignoring one moral gave rise to ignoring another until the author was in an investigator’s crosshairs. To paraphrase the book, the federal government has an unlimited budget when it pursues a suspect, so think ca ...more
Kate Gould
Feb 18, 2010 rated it it was ok
Kenneth Walton is sorry: to his friends, parents, ex-girlfriends, and the people he conned into buying forged paintings on eBay. “I’ve met my inner con man,” he says, “and I can never again pretend I don’t know him.” This inner con man tells the story of Walton’s venture into internet fraud in which he went from a middling lawyer to an ersatz art dealer, forging artists’ signatures and palming off junkshop paintings as masterpieces. He worked with other sellers, setting up fake eBay IDs and maki ...more
Amanda
Dec 30, 2007 rated it really liked it
Fake is a gripping real-life tale of Kenneth Walton's growth from small-time seller on eBay to a full-fledged internet swindler, selling art forgeries for ridiculous amounts of money.

I literally couldn't put this book down, and that says something for a first-time author like Walton. What makes Walton's story so fascinating is that he takes the reader through his thought process that led him to a decision that destroyed his life.
...more
Magill
Jun 14, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
As far as books about art crime go, Provenance was a more gripping read. But this was readable and, if some people find the mea culpas a bit too much, you have to give the author some credit for revealing himself to be immature, weak, dishonest and greedy. Made you want to kick the guy in the pants or knock some sense into him, but then getting caught and charged and dis-barred seems to have had some effect.

Fact is, though, that shill bidding still happens on eBay, seems like no-win or seemingl
...more
Harvey
Jun 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
- EBay's popularity exploded in the late 1990's as millions of bidders went online to the largest flea-market on earth, ready to spend cash on everything from garden gnomes to Mercedes convertibles (and now - yachts, airplanes, and real-estate). Among them were art collectors willing to spend big money on unseen paintings, hoping to buy valuable pieces at below-market prices. EBay also attracted the occasional con-artist, unable to resist the temptation of abusing a system that prided itself on ...more
Jessica
Aug 22, 2009 rated it liked it
Quick read about a man who sold forged paintings on Ebay for thousands of dollars and his eventual expulsion for the auction site. Anyone interested in art would find this book both fascinating and sickening as Kenneth Walton recounts his relationship with this partner and fellow art-forger Fetterman, his interaction with Ebay customers, and the shill bidding that pushed the price of the some paintings up over $30,000. The ending is sad and leaves the reader wondering if the old adage, "Once a c ...more
Miychen
Feb 09, 2011 rated it liked it
Much more readable than I actually expected- literally sat down and read it in one go. Walton's voice is easy to follow, and it's easy to feel sympathy for the huge forgery scam he was embroiled in. Though not quite as exciting as I'd expected (Walton's job wasn't actually forging artworks per se, but selling off crap pieces and passing them off as genuine on eBay), it's still eye-opening and pretty interesting. The book has a significant focus on Walton's personal life as well, and how his art ...more
Melody
Sep 16, 2007 rated it liked it
Aieee. Creeps ripping off honest folks on eBay. Also creeps making excuses for bad behaviour and rationalizing stealing. Thoroughly despicable author goes from lawyer to cheat to forger. One wonders what sort of a person then writes it all up, almost proudly, and publishes it. After this book, I needed a shower. With steel wool to get the really sticky nasty bits off. Walton is a decent writer, it's the sordid details that got me down. ...more
Cindy
Apr 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Excellent read. Suspense, drama, intrigue along with the compelling choices and consequences that changed the author's life in an unimaginable way. Difficult to put down as you ride the roller coaster of the authors daily choices, revelations and sometimes ironic outcomes. I highly recommend this! ...more
Cindy
Mar 31, 2016 rated it liked it
A well-written story of how one man got sucked into the fast money of ebay and the repercussions of his actions. My favorite line was on page 294, "But a life is shaped by a series of small decisions, and the choices that led me to where I was began long before I spotted the orange and green painting in that shop in Pearblossom." ...more
Sheena Tahilramani
Jan 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
A good story. How anyone thought they could get away with this more than once is beyond any level of stupidity. Ken Walton got exactly what he deserved and as someone who has (almost) been scammed on eBay (much smaller amount than any of Mr. Walton's dealings), I am glad the defrauded received their money back. ...more
Debbie
Oct 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this easy read. Finished in 2 days. It tells the story of a highly educated man who essentially became addicted to EBay back in the day and went down the slippery slope of lies and easy money until he crashed. It's written as a confession with the emotional and legal stress woven in. Overall, a good book. ...more
Stefanie
Jan 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
An interesting story about art fraud on eBay from a guy whose remorse for his part in the whole thing I believe. He describes how he got into it, the moral compromises along the way, and what the choices he made ultimately cost. And, in the end, I liked the guy. Nicely done.
Natalie Kling
Nov 22, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people interested in eBay scams and art forgery
Great true story of the first high profile corruption story of eBay. It's also a great art forgery story. This book is written from the seller/art forger perspective. The author is also a lawyer. I don't completely believe his story, but it is still a good one. ...more
Deron Hicks
Dec 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Good quick read, but would have liked some more details on the forgeries. Sidebars with short interviews of other people involved in the case would have rounded it out nicely. Still, enjoyable, interesting read.
Thinkingstiff
Jun 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
My brother wrote this book.
Amber
Mar 16, 2009 rated it it was ok
It's true. That guy that I knew is mentioned several times by name in this book. Other than that, it's a fairly interesting read in the "people I don't like doing things I don't want" category. ...more
Trista
Aug 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Ken is a friend of mine - This is a great read and true all the way through!
Kelly
Aug 04, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult
Ken Walton used Ebay to compulsively re-sell art--faked, forged, and otherwise misrepresented. He got caught and wrote a book about it. His story is straightforward, if it can be believed.
Lector Inspector
rated it it was amazing
Feb 06, 2013
Craig
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Mar 11, 2017
MLeigh
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Dec 20, 2010
Travis
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Feb 07, 2010
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Feb 21, 2016
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Nov 28, 2017
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