- Associated Press - Monday, August 2, 2010

LONDON (AP) - An unemployed book dealer has been sentenced to eight years in prison for possessing a stolen first edition of Shakespeare’s plays, described by the judge as a “quintessentially English treasure.”

Raymond Scott was cleared last month of stealing the rare First Folio but found guilty of handling stolen goods and removing stolen property from Britain.

Scott was arrested after he took the 1623 volume to the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington and asked to have it authenticated. It disappeared from Durham University in 1998.

Scott denied the charges and claimed he had found the folio in Cuba.

At Newcastle Crown Court in northeast England on Monday, Judge Richard Lowden told Scott he had tried to use the book to “fund an extremely ludicrous playboy lifestyle.”

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